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What Oprah Did Not Tell You About HIV and the "Down Low"

By Candace Y.A. Montague

October 8, 2010

Sorry Oprah. The 'down low' is just hype. Photo: infotainmentnews

Sorry Oprah. The "down low" is just hype.
Photo: infotainmentnews

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.

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