This week on WCLK's The Local Take(Saturday 8am), I welcome back Imara Canady from the AIDS Health Foundation to talk about their upcoming AIDS Walk and Festival on September 25th at Piedmont Park. Before we discuss the AIDS Walk and Festival, can we talk about the HIV epidemic in our community? I hoped that the lockdown would decrease the transmission of HIV, but last year the numbers were continuing to rise. We are experiencing an HIV/AIDS epidemic amid the COVID-19 Pandemic. I asked Canady to provide us with an update on the numbers for our community. He shares thaT HIV positive numbers in the South, Georgia, and Metro Atlanta continue to rise.
I ask why this is a continuing challenge in our community. Although culturally conservative, Canady explains that sex in the South is still taking place, including everyone from young people to seniors. There is a stigma in our community about sexually transmitted diseases. This stigma closes down necessary conversations that should start before children reach their pre-teens when experiments start and then throughout sexual development. Partners need to have the conversation before they begin having sex. Canady suggests getting tested together before you begin a sexual relationship.
While people can live abundantly after testing positive, this is not a reason to be cavalier about sexual relationships. If you are HIV positive you will have to take drugs every day for the rest of your life, and even with insurance, this is expensive.
I ask Canady about the upcoming AIDS Walk and Festival taking place on September 25th. He shares that entertainer Ludacris (Chris Bridges) will perform. The in-person walk/run will space participants and all COVID19 preventions will be in place.
To participate in AIDS Walk and Festival
For Free HIV Test