District of Columbia: Young African-American Women Talk About HIV/AIDS
May 24, 2010
The recently formed nonprofit group Divas, Making Our People Healthier (Divas, MPH) co-sponsored a March 13 summit to educate the District's African-American females about the dangers of HIV/AIDS.
HIV/AIDS is the leading cause of death among black women ages 25-34, and an estimated 3 percent of District residents are HIV-infected, noted Daniels. "[The District's] rise in HIV/AIDS cases among women and girls is alarming and heartbreaking, especially since the disease is preventable," she said.
Tiffany West-Ojo, chief of the Strategic Information Bureau for the DCDOH's HIV/AIDS Administration, said the conversation should focus on the sexual behaviors of heterosexual black women and men. Black women must reject open relationships or "hook ups," she said.
"Everybody can have these open relationships, but it's not a safe environment to have those kinds of relationships in [the District]," said West-Ojo. "What's different about us in the environment that we're in: [Washington] has 600,000 people and there's probably 20,000 people living with HIV/AIDS. In D.C., the norm is becoming dangerous."
05.25.2010; Norma Porter Anthony
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