HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus and AIDS stands for Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome. HIV/AIDS is a pandemic that only affects human beings: since its outbreak, an estimated 60 million people have been infected, causing nearly 25 million deaths. The virus is spread through sexual intercourse, and weakens your immune system by destroying cells that fight off disease and infection. Symptoms of HIV/AIDS mimic a lot of other viruses like the common cold or flu, but the human immune system cannot effectively battle this virus. Read on to learn more about the disease and to find out how you can take action and spread the word about the HIV/AIDS pandemic.
- Research. Find out more about the state of the AIDS crisis and what is considered safe behavior. There are huge misconceptions about AIDS and how people become infected with HIV; the disease is spread through bodily fluids such as blood, semen and vaginal fluid and it can also be passed from a mother with the virus during pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding. You can go to your nearest health clinic and inquire about pamphlets, courses, and resources they may have available for their patients. This information is a right, not an option. You can use this information for yourself, friends, or even to put together a discussion group about HIV/AIDS. This group will serve as a safe space to share, ask questions, and prevent future contact with the illness.
- Get tested. Find an HIV/AIDS testing center. With this understanding, you can know about steps to take toward a healthy life. And getting tested isn’t a one-time thing: it’s important to get tested regularly especially if you have a new sexual partner.
- Get organized. Organize a march and/or rally to raise money for AIDS campaigns, or encourage people to join the AIDS Walk or Planned Parenthood. If you find there is not enough information in your community about HIV/AIDS, you can even organize a protest for the availability of more information in your community.
- Write. Writing can help educate your reader of ways to be safe and/or provide facts about HIV/AIDS. Your poem can serve as an informational guide to prevent the spread of this disease. This poem will educate the reader providing examples of ways to be safe, and/or providing facts about the illness. Be sure to include your community: schools, families, neighbors community centers, businesses, etc. This is a power we all have. You can even host a slam and bring free condoms.
- Share. Post your poem on Power Poetry and an HIV/AIDS organization's Facebook page.