Have you ever played Russian Roulette? If you’re not familiar with the game; one places a single bullet in the barrel of a handgun and then twirls the chamber. You then raise the gun to your temple and pull the trigger. If you’re lucky, the gun just clicks and your anxiety reaches a peak you never knew existed before. If you’re unlucky, well sucks for you, you just committed suicide and you’re dead, laying “Kennedy style with your memory out” to quote a notable rapper.
So have you ever played Russian Roulette? Are you interested in playing this weekend? Probably not, but you might be more familiar with a different version of the same game. It goes a little like this —- “ooohh you feel so good, I just need to be inside you” sans condom. We play Russian Roulette every time we have unprotected sex with our partner(s).
We’re taking a chance with our lives. I’ve done it and God has spared me. I’ve even promised never to do it again because I was fortunate to hear the gun click and I’m still here. But others have not been so “lucky”.
Over 40% of new HIV infections are among African Americans ages 13-29. I’m in that age group, I’m African American, I have sex; so it’s reasonable to assume that I am at risk every time I sleep with a new partner. When I read this statistic; it frightened me beyond belief. Sadly that was last year’s statistic, last week the Center for Disease Control & Prevention released a new study with numbers that were even more grim than previous years. Though African Americans only make up 13.6% of the U.S. population, we account for 50.3% of all diagnosed cases of HIV. Deep down I ask myself “how do we combat HIV.”
Prevention. We can teach abstinence, the benefits of safe sex and the dangers of unprotected sex, i.e. STI’s. We can work with groups who help get folks tested so that they know their status because most people who spread STD’s don’t know that they have an STD. But really all of this has been done, is continuing to be executed and still we have these catastrophic numbers. Some of us are missing the message.
Then I thought about it. How do we teach someone to fight his or her lustful desires? I’ve heard stories of men going to Brazil looking for hot sex with beautiful women. An area that we all know is being ravaged by the HIV pandemic, yet brothers still come back with the virus. Why? They knew the risks down there, why didn’t they take the proper precautions to safeguard their lives?
“Son she looked so good, her a** was so fat. It clouded my vision. I’ve never been with someone so beautiful, I just wanted to feel her.” These are the responses from men, but like Snoop said “ain’t no p**** good enough to get burnt while I’m up in it”. How do we teach men and women that they’re not invincible, that they are playing with their lives every time they engage in unprotected sexual activity? How do we tell them that an act of lust can have life long repercussions? I don’t know the answer, I’m wondering how to tell myself this because as I have already stated, I have made the mistake myself.
Please feel free to respond and maybe we can brainstorm effective ways to reshape our community’s outlook on sex and the reality of contracting STD’s. If we don’t, we’re risking not only the health of our neighbors but ourselves.