Blacks Should Engage in More ‘Straight Talk’ About Sexuality To Prevent HIV, USA Today Opinion Piece Says
Black men and women should engage in "straight talk" about sexuality because "among other things, it could save lives," Laura Hall (D), a member of the Alabama Legislature and board member of the Black AIDS Institute, writes in a USA Today opinion piece. The result of the "culture of silence" that currently surrounds sexuality -- especially among young, African-American women -- is that half of the 40,000 people infected with HIV each year in the United States are under age 25, and 64% of newly infected women are black, Hall states. She says that the silence among women exists for a number of reasons: "We learn it's not ladylike. We may be economically dependent. We fear our men will leave us or become violent if we mention 'condom' or 'AIDS.'" Hall states that men "have their own reasons" for remaining silent about sexuality, including that some gay, African-American men feel that they have to "choose between being black and being gay." Hall concludes, "For an African-American community that is being devastated by AIDS, there can be no greater service right now than empowering young women -- and men -- to talk frankly about sex" (Hall, USA Today, 4/4).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.