Today is National HIV Testing Day, and I wanted to share a video I saw on the White House website showing President Obama getting tested back in 2006:
The White House included this information with the video:
One in five Americans currently living with HIV doesn't know it. If our President and First Lady can get tested -- you can too.
To find a testing site near you visit http://www.hivtest.org or text KNOWIT to 566948.
I think that it is great that Obama is promoting this, and I hope that he keeps doing HIV awareness and prevention initiatives. A few weeks ago I wrote about my time working at an orphanage for HIV positive children in Trinidad, and I am glad to know that while many people around the world are not getting medicine to treat HIV, those kids I met in Trinidad are.
I think that comprehensive sexuality education in schools is the BEST way to combat the HIV epidemic. Information is power, and people living with HIV need information and empowerment. Being HIV positive is no longer a death sentence; it is a chronic disease that people can live with for a very long time. Young people need complete information about HIV and how to prevent it, especially now. This is no longer the 1980’s, and HIV/AIDS needs to be handled and thought about differently now then it was then.
President Obama and congress must fund programs in schools that teach about HIV and other STD’s, about abstaining from sex, contraceptive and condom use, and about personal respect and responsibility. Obama has called in his budget for an end of failed abstinence-only programs, but we must ensure that the right programs are getting funded, and that congress will go along with the President's budget request. Advocates For Youth's president James Wagoner wrote a blog post about the need for Obama to expand the scope of his teen pregnancy prevention initiative. He makes a lot of good points, and you can read that here.
Please, tell congress to fund comprehensive sex education. And on the 14th anniversary of National HIV Testing Day, do the responsible thing and get tested.