What Oprah Did Not Tell You About HIV and the "Down Low"
By Candace Y.A. Montague
October 8, 2010
Oprah Winfrey is an inspirational American icon but someone in her fact checking department needs to step up their game. On yesterday's show, Oprah had a guest named Bridget B., an African-American woman who is HIV positive. She was by infected her husband who, apparently, concealed his gay sex life from her. Once she found out about his desire to sleep with men, she divorced him, sued him and won 12 million dollars. Oprah also had J.L. King, author of The Down Low, return to her show six years after he came onto her stage and 'dropped the bomb'. Both guests reiterated how not knowing about a man's secret gay sex life can cost a woman her life.
Oprah is not out in left field with this topic but she did not present a balanced picture. There are several points that she brought up in her discussions but did not follow through.
Oprah's show was informative but did not do much to dispel the myth about the down low or to erase the stigma that surrounds HIV. Her website does offer an article on The 7 myths about contracting HIV. Sadly, that article will not be as wide spread as yesterday's show. It's just another example of how myths can get more hype than the truth.
Get tested. Get care. Get involved.
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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