Be Careful Whom You Kiss: HIV/AIDS

Nancy J. Nelson, Ph.D.

  

                        Be careful whom you kiss.

                        Be careful whom you kiss.

                        Wish I could tell you what I feel and see.

                        Wish I could tell you what I feel and see.

                        I can’t prevent what’s certain to be.

                        I can’t prevent what’s certain to be.

                       His name is ….

                       His name is ….

                     And he’s trying to take your life.

                     Trying to take your life.*

 

African Americans have the highest percentage and continue to be fasting growing group in the U.S. who are HIV positive. African Americans and the poor are the least likely to receive the best known treatment for HIV.                   

                        His name is …., his name is ….*

Some African American men say they will never wear a condom. They tell us:

                         Come on, Baby, don’t you trust me?

                         You know you’re the only one I make love with.

                         I’d never, ever do anything to hurt my woman.

                         If I have to wear one, I’m leaving you.

 And we women love them. We don’t want them to think we don’t trust them. We don’t want them to think we don’t love them. We don’t want to hurt them. And we dread being alone.

                          And he’s trying to take your life.

                         Trying to take your life.*

A son watches his mother slowly waste away. She was once a very active, attractive woman who now cannot move and weighs only 70 pounds.  She can say nothing to him because she does not have the energy to speak. He gently touches the wisp of hair remaining on her head. There were no tears at her death, only a sigh of relief that she no longer suffers.

                        Wish I could tell you what I feel and see.

                        Wish I could tell you what I feel and see.*

A young man who is a heroin addict, an intravenous drug user, an ex-convict, learns he is HIV positive. In time he is a skeleton covered with brown skin He slowly grows weaker as the years pass. His mother waits and worries.

Ah, you say, I would never date a drug addict, especially one who may be a dangerous criminal. 

Would you date an African American male who is six feet tall, weighs 190 lbs, has a charismatic personality, holds you gently, and who writes love poems that make your knees melt?  

                    I can’t prevent what’s certain to be.

                   I can’t prevent what’s certain to be.*

How do you recognize a person who is HIV positive? Do you look for purple marks? Do you stare into their eyes to try to recognize a vacant look? What are the visible signs? Try as you may, you see none.

African American communities are being ravaged and attacked by an epidemic of AIDS. At issue is our lifestyle. At issue is our life. Although a number of AIDS cases can be attributed to intravenous drug use, too many of us- whether straight, gay, male or female – continue to have unprotected sex.

The AIDS rate among Black women is three times as high as that of among Latino women and more than 18 times as high as that among white women. Black women make up more than half of all women who have died of AIDS.

                         Be careful whom you kiss.

                        Be careful whom you kiss.*

Black women must get tested – twice – because the men who we loved and trusted, who we did not want to hurt, disappeared into the night, leaving us hurt and alone.

A young man learns he is HIV positive. He becomes a skeleton covered with brown skin. He slowly grows weaker as the years pass. His mother waits for him to die.

                        Wish I could tell you what I feel and see.

                        Wish I could tell you what I feel and see.

                        Be careful whom you kiss.

                        Be careful whom you kiss.*

 

* Be Careful Whom You Kiss – From: Your Arms Too Short to Box With God

By: Alex Bradford and Micki Grant

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