- Faith & Family
Young Black youth are experimenting with a lot of things in their lives — just like many older adults did when they were much younger — including sex, liquor and drugs. That’s the reality in today’s world. And just like their parents and grandparents before them, teenagers have this crazy notion that they are invincible — like Superman — and they often make decisions based on the myth of invincibility.
But remember that Superman had his weakness — fragments from his home planet Krypton. Of course that was all fiction, something for comic book readers to ponder over. However, when youth engage in unprotected sex all for the sake of “experimenting” they risk their very lives. That’s because there’s a form of kryptonite in the 21st century called HIV/AIDS that does not discriminate.
Recent statistics show two groups within the Black race whose numbers are soaring, despite campaigns that promote testing, awareness and safe sex. Can you guess who? Of course young adults, especially gay Black men are at the top of the list of new infections. But the other group might surprise you — it’s senior citizens. For the older generation the whole HIV/AIDS thing is foreign to them. They never had to deal with it because it didn’t exist during their early dating years. But sometimes widows or widowers want some companionship. And that’s no different from the desires of youth.
In both cases, there are ways to remain healthy and to stay HIV-negative. It’s called using a condom and some common sense. Of course the safest way to protect one’s self would be to practice abstinence. But that idea doesn’t seem to have many followers. So, we must meet people where they are and give them the information they need to stay healthy.
Don’t look at Mr. Muscles or Miss Brick House and say “they look too good to have AIDS.” You can’t tell today from looking. Therefore, unless you want to play Russian Roulette with your life, you’d better stop acting as if it can’t happen to you. Because it can.