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HIV/AIDS Resource Center for African Americans
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What Really Fuels the HIV/AIDS Epidemic in Black America?

February 6, 2012

 12/12 

Rae Lewis-Thornton

Stigma

Rae Lewis-Thornton, Activist, Blogger at Diva Living With AIDS, Chicago

The stigma around HIV created an enormous amount of shame for people living with HIV and their family. This stigma is embedded in American culture. In the 21st century it's become politically incorrect to talk negatively about HIV and people living with HIV openly, but the whispers float in our society just like the air we breathe. I can understand at one level the black community saying, "Not Me!" I mean who wants to admit that HIV is rampant in their community. Shoot, I kept my infection a secret for seven years because I was afraid that people would judge me. Still today, I get nasty tweets about my dating and sex life, but I tackle it head on.

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