When I first heard and then read that this study went from sexual preference to entire race of people, that race being African Americans I was shocked, angered, saddened and then I started thinking logically. Sad to say it but I can see how African Americans can fall in to this study as a race of people in general. From teens having sex to just arrogant and or ignorant to the fact HIV and frankly any STD can be transmitted between adults within the African American community its not that hard to understand how and why HIV among blacks are higher than other races. It has little to almost nothing to do with “DL (down low) brothers” at all. For those who have been under a rock for about ten years or more the term “DL” mean black men who secretly have sex with other men most likely other black men, means they’re bisexual but aren’t going to admit it. I saw a post on blog where a lady totally blamed the increase of HIV and AIDS in the African American community on DL brothers.
I honestly can’t accept that no more than I can accept it comes from being promiscuous. My reason is because neither one those lifestyles are exclusive to the black community. Trust me getting around sexually isn’t just a black thing, I’m sure no matter the race of people you talk about you can find men and women having sex with any and everybody so being promiscuous isn’t it. And the DL theory sounds more plausible only because it gives us as black people a way to blame black bisexual men. Saying black bisexual men is like saying Nazi Jew they are out there but they just refuse to accept the title. Again bisexuality isn’t really it either because white people are most often associated with the swinger lifestyle and more than likely the men are bi and the study didn’t include white people or swingers. You can go to any sex website or Craigslist and find a gang of married white men looking for men, so again it’s not a race and bisexual thing. So what makes them being bisexual different from black men being bisexual?
What it is in my personal opinion is this study falls in the same lane that most every other things does, it’s a community thing. Trust me if the study broke residential areas down of those who have it that are African American you find those in the suburbs are a minor percentage in the study. It really comes down to where you live really, as much television ads like to show people in somewhat nice homes it’s just not the case all the time. One reason you know this is because the Health Department of that city has to put a notice on your front door of those who have HIV and if that happened on a regular basis in the a suburban area people would move or try to force those who are HIV positive to move. This like education, jobs, eating healthy and being healthy in general is now a major issue within a lot of African American communities.
This also comes from a crazy place of insecurity within the inner cities. HIV is in overdrive because in our communities we’ve equated sex with everything from getting attention to having people take care of one another and if you’re lucky love. We’ve heard so many comedians joke about how sex is exchanged for bills being paid and shoes being bought. The thing is it happens all the time and then think how man times the sex was unprotected sex? In the hood men go out their way to get the best cars, clothes and whatever else is expensive to do nothing more than attract women more so those who will have sex with for that reason alone, it’s why guys in general workout sometimes. For females it is so much more going on, from just giving a female some attention because she may feel like she isn’t attractive to just sad to say getting high and drunk with her. Yeah I know that sounds dumb but it happens a lot, I know men who know who will have sex once they’re drunk or high. As people in general we don’t want to ever think we have something so dangerous and deadly with in us so most people don’t get checked up regularly. For black people there is a stigma to going to clinics, it becomes a thing where if it’s a female she is either pregnant or think she has some STD. If it’s a guy it’s automatically STD. We have such a lost of commitment more so in the inner city because there aren’t a lot of marriages or even two parent homes. Today it is normal to hear the “baby mama, baby daddy” stuff more so now than in the past, not saying this is new just saying it is less of an embarrassment to get around like that in today’s world. I mean if a female has five kids by five different men we know she gambled with her life at least five times, same for men with five different mothers for his kids. Not saying married people or monogamous couples don’t, will not, or haven’t went out and did something on the side I’m saying to be safe is a definite must if they want to insure they won’t get caught.
Then there is our image in the media. Yes, many singers of many races say they get down promiscuously, but no genre other than Hip Hop and this new R&B has so many artists spending so much time on an album talking about it. Even our videos are sexual for no reason at all. We’re hearing all these sexual songs with out really hearing any responsibility being taken. How many time has Snoop spoke on condoms, remember “I got a pocket full rubbers and my homeboys do too”? Yeah he’s having sex with random females in the song but he’s protecting himself. That quote alone raised awareness in boys and girls and I can personally state for a fact saved a lot of people from taking trips to the clinic around my inner circle. That’s lost now and while we’re allowing the media to sell sex to our children as well as insecure adults we’re not demanding some sign of responsibility. TLC wore condoms on their clothes as a way to put the thought out there without really saying “protect yourself” and have safe sex. What we have now is certain body types (and skin tones) being pushed as sexy which again brings me back to insecurities. You add that pushing of an image and the fact songs and just the common theory of not just in the inner city but America in general women should be having sex if they like the guy adds a bigger pressure to women who may feel they may not be viewed as sexy.
The study gave all kind of statistics but not the more important ones, well in my book important ones. That being again where these people live, how they lived and how they viewed themselves, because like I said blacks in the burbs may not be a big part of those stats. I’m not saying changing the image of black people in the media or black men keeping it real about their sexuality will slow this increasingly dangerous epidemic that has a hold on the African American community. The study could have been about teen pregnancies and guess what, among African Americans that stat will be high and these same statements I just wrote about could be used all over again. HIV, AIDS and teen pregnancies will continue to be high for African Americans, certain African Americans, as long as there continues to not be any sense of community to help educate people about safe sex and the possible consequents of not having sex safe. We as a people can band together when we feel racially discriminated against, maybe its time we take that same conviction to save lives and become more active in promoting safe sex. I know people don’t want to acknowledge that teens are having sex, people are having unprotected sex and people are sharing needles, but addressing those facts will save lives I think its time we speak to our community openly about HIV and AIDS.