Candace Y.A. Montague
D.C. HIV/AIDS Examiner
Black HIV/AIDS Awareness: Eight Points to Keep in Mind
February 8, 2013
National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is upon us again. We have some ups and downs to reflect on when it comes to infection rates. For example, the infection rates among Black women nationally dropped between 2008 and 2010. That's pretty promising. But among Black women in DC, the infection rates are still high. Young Black gay men still have the highest infection rates among homosexual men, even though studies have shown that they are no more promiscuous than other gay men. And heterosexual Black men remain absent from the conversation. In short, we still have a lot of work to do to get to the core of this issue. There are a myriad of items to consider when it comes to AIDS in the Black community. I would like to highlight eight of them.
Babies Mamas Show Not Rooted Enough in Reality
December 29, 2012
One man, 10 women, 11 kids and a reality show. Sounds like a bad joke but alas it is real. All My Babies Mamas is a one-hour television special that is scheduled to air on the Oxygen network in the Spring. The show is focused around Carlos Walker, an Atlanta-based rapper, and his 10 babies mamas. Yes! Carlos aka "Shawty Lo" is a sexually active straight Black male who has successfully impregnated 10 women. Obviously there isn't much safe sex practices being performed. There are so many places to go with this that I hardly know where to begin. However, this page is devoted to HIV/AIDS so let's stick with that.
Getting to Zero in D.C. Rally Draws a Crowd
December 4, 2012
The Getting to Zero Rally held at the John A. Wilson building in Northwest yesterday drew more than 100 supporters and activists who searched for answers. The press conference and rally was organized to demand that Mayor [of Washington, D.C., Vincent] Gray and his Commission on HIV/AIDS write and implement a comprehensive HIV Care Plan that mirrors the National HIV/AIDS Strategy. The rally was organized by the D.C. Community Coalition, Mary's Center, The Women's Collective, Housing Works, and D.C. Fights Back.
Stigma and Ignorance Contribute to Murder
September 24, 2012
News has been widely circulated lately about a woman in Dallas, Texas who was killed by her boyfriend because she had HIV and failed to disclose her status prior to sex. The accused, who was allegedly a married man, confessed to the crime by saying "she killed me so I killed her". As shocking and sad as this is, it is eerily becoming more common. Murder cases because of HIV disclosure have been cropping up Sacramento, California, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and even Trinidad. And while D.C. has stepped up its efforts to inform the public more about HIV/AIDS, the city is not immune to murder and stigma surrounding HIV.
Health Care Law Victory for Women and HIV
August 2, 2012
Benefits from the Affordable Care Act are already surfacing as women now have more options for care. Kathleen Sebellius, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services announced yesterday that forty-seven million women will gain greater control over their health care and access to eight new prevention-related health care services without paying more out of their own pockets. The new rules in the health care law requiring coverage of these services went into effect on August 1st for most health insurance plans and local HIV/AIDS advocates are offering praise.
D.C. Community Coalition Pushes for Citywide AIDS Plan
August 2, 2012
The International AIDS Conference shined a spotlight on the epidemic in the United States and more importantly here in D.C. Now, one advocacy group is putting the pressure on city leaders to develop a comprehensive citywide plan to end the epidemic in the District. The D.C. Community Coalition held a press conference during the conference last week to highlight their policy platform. The coalition membership includes AIDS activists, faith leaders, women's groups, transgendered persons, people living with HIV, social workers, health care providers, lawyers, researchers, youth, gay men, sex workers -- some as individuals, many as representatives of community and national organizations working in D.C.
Dr. Pierre Vigilance, Demystified -- Part Two
August 1, 2012
Dr. Pierre Vigilance came to the the District in 1988 to study health in medical school. In 2008, he was chosen to run the Department of Health. There was plenty of buzz about his lack of action on health issues and much speculation about a tumultuous relationship with the director of the Department of HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, STD, and Tuberculosis Dr. Shannon Hader (click here to read her interview). Dr. Vigilance, 42, admits that there were disagreements along the way but he harbors no ill feelings about anyone or any of the experiences during his tenure. He is now a visiting professor for public health practice at George Washington University.
Dr. Pierre Vigilance, Demystified -- Part One
August 1, 2012
I have wanted to interview Dr. Pierre Vigilance since he began his tenure as the head of the D.C. Department of Health in 2008. But there was this wall around him and each brick was a negative adjective about his character. He's a bully. He's pretentious. He's arrogant, aloof, apathetic and another "a" word that I'm not allowed to use on this site. Eventually, I moved on. But I finally got my chance to interview him a few weeks ago. I braced myself for an interview with the "big bad wolf" who might still be a tad bitter. However, the man who met me did not fit that description. I interviewed a man who was warm, relaxed, unabridged, and attentive (which is a nicer "a" word to describe him).
Why Blacks in D.C. Need to Engage in More Civil Disobedience
July 26, 2012
We all know by now that the HIV infection rates among African-Americans in D.C. remain ridiculously high. And we know that the rates are so high they are actually on the same level as some sub-Saharan African countries. During the International AIDS Conference last week, I witnessed six brilliant examples of what the community can do with some planning and persistence. The March on Washington and The We Can End AIDS (WCEA) Mobilization, which included five marches converging into one, shut things down. But I noticed that there were many people who came to the march from out of town and they were not attending the conference. The question that came into my mind was, where are my D.C. people?
A Moment With Dwight Eubanks at AIDS 2012
July 26, 2012
Dwight Eubanks, television star from the famous (or infamous for some people) reality show The Real Housewives of Atlanta, is in DC this week for a fashion show at the International AIDS Conference. The self-proclaimed style purveyor is the owner of the Purple Door Salon in Atlanta and is known for his quick wit and forthright commentary on everything from fashion to lifestyles. He's a diva if I've ever seen one. As he prepared for his show at the Carnegie Library with Sheryl Lee Ralph, Dwight shared some 'reality' on what it's going to take to get the HIV rates down.
D.C. HIV/AIDS Examiner
Candace Y.A. Montague
Candace Y.A. Montague has been learning about HIV since 1988 (and she has the certificates from the American Red Cross to prove it). Health is a high priority to Candace because she believes that nothing can come of your life if you're not healthy enough to enjoy it. One of her two master's degrees is in Community Health Promotion and Education. Candace was inspired to act against HIV after seeing a documentary in 2008 about African-American women and HIV. She knew that writing was the best way for her to make a difference and help inform others. Candace is a native Washingtonian and covers HIV news all around D.C. She has covered fundraisers, motorcycle rides, town hall meetings, house balls, Capitol Hill press conferences, election campaigns and protests for The DC Examiner.com and emPower News Magazine.
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January 21, 2014 - Safer Sex Advice From Dr. Rachael Ross: A Blog Entry by Candace Y.A. Montague
December 19, 2013 - Dating Websites for People Living With STDs: Are They Worth It? A Blog Entry by Candace Y.A. Montague
December 6, 2013 - Three Ways Nelson Mandela Fought AIDS: A Blog Entry by Candace Y.A. Montague
November 25, 2013 - Magic Johnson and Friends Discuss Life and HIV: A Blog Entry by Candace Y.A. Montague
November 5, 2013 - How People With HIV Can Use the Affordable Care Act Website
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