“A great nation is a compassionate nation.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
February is Black History Month, but February 7th is National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. In 2016, this is the year that we, as a community, need to open our eyes, our hearts, and our mouths to see the Oakland around us. We need to open our eyes to see that Oakland has been in a state of emergency related to HIV/AIDS for almost 25 years. We need to open our hearts and notice that, as a community, there is a lack of compassion. We need to realize that HIV impacts us all; that AIDS affects us all. We need to open our mouths to speak with our family and friends about the importance of knowing your status and staying safe.
It is paramount for us to come together, as a community, and have conversations about the stigma around HIV and AIDS to change the ways we speak and think about the subject. Our community needs to know; the HIV/AIDS situation in Oakland is in a state of crisis, and we must not relax our efforts.
Written by Nikia Harris, Outreach and Linkage Specialist, WORLD