Getting To Zero: World AIDS Day 2012


Friday, November 30, 2012

2012 World AIDS Day theme

 December 1, 2012 is World AIDS Day!  A day to remind people from around to world to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS, safe sex practices, HIV testing, and demonstrate international solidarity in the face of the pandemic.  After 30 years of the global response to HIV and AIDS, only 24% of young women and 36% of young men in low- and middle- income countries are knowledgeable about HIV transmission and prevention.  These numbers have to get better!!!

According to the Center for Diseases Control (CDC),
  • Estimated number of people around the world with HIV: 33.3 Million
  • Number of people living in the US with an AIDS diagnosis: 479, 161
  • Estimated number of people in the US living with HIV: 1.2 Million
  • African Americans, who make up only 14 percent of the U.S. population, make up 44 percent of the HIV-positive population.
  • Latinos face three times the HIV infection rates as whites.
  • Men who have sex with men represent 2 percent of the U.S. population but account for 61 percent of all new HIV infections.
If these numbers don't make you ask why we are still fighting an uphill battle against HIV/AIDS in 2012, maybe the images will hit home.

Courtesy of World Health Organization

AIDS affects us all!! Infections can be prevented.  Factors that contribute to new infections include:  unprotected sexual encounters, sex with multiple partners, domestic violence, intravenous drug use (sharing needles), homelessness and unstable housing, lack of adequate sexual education, and other risky behavior. 

Contrary to some of the nonsense I've heard from people in my community, THERE IS NO CURE!! YES, you can become infected with HIV and other sexual transmitted infections (STI's) through oral and anal sex.  Until there is a cure, think about what behaviors can put you at risk for infection.  GET TESTED!!  

You can find information on where to get tested, here.!
Make your own Facing AIDS declaration at

Giving Thanks Week in Pictures


Saturday, November 24, 2012

A few shots from my iPhone over the Thanksgiving week.!

Hope in Moving FORWARD!


Saturday, November 10, 2012

President Obama and VP Biden, November 2012.  Photo by Pete Souza
After a long and hard fought presidential election season, President Barack Hussein Obama has been re-elected as the President of the United States of America and I am THRILLED!  Along with millions of people, I did my part to get him elected in 2008 and the second time is no different.  I am glad that in the end, community organizing, truth, and the small contributions of ordinary people, thwarted the machinations of those interested in taking the country back to the policies of the 1950's.

GOTV on election day with the Obama campaign in Richmond, VA
This was an ugly presidential election season.  The barrage of negative ads from both the Democratic and Republican camps has ushered in a disappointing new era of what to expect during future presidential campaigns.   No thanks to the Supreme Court's disappointing ruling on Citizens United .
Let's not kid ourselves, this election forced everyone to dig in on their beliefs and values.  As a woman, I am gobsmacked at the thought that some elected officials believe there is such a thing as 'legitimate rape'.  Furthermore, the apparent total disrespect for the President and his Office by the GOP, made it very clear that this election was not all about policy differences.  It had the undertone of something much uglier. 

"I am not concerned with your liking or disliking me... All I ask is that you respect me as a human being." - Jackie Robinson

Well, it is over now and we have to move forward.  It is my hope that much has been learned that will cause our elected officials to put aside the bickering and partisanship to focus on what is best for the country.  This will require collaboration, compromise, effective leadership, and yes, some healthy conflict resolution.  Hmm, sounds like I should offer some organization development services to Congress.  Maybe some team and group development intervention?

As a strong Obama supporter, I have no illusions that this second term will be easier.  I do believe that we will see a modified leadership approach from the President. Our elected leaders will have to work together and those who refuse, will be dealt another shellacking in 2014.  I also hope that 'we' do our part to embrace the rich diversity of people, opinions, beliefs, and values that make living in the U.S a wonderful place to be.

We are all responsible for what happens next, not just the President and Congress.  We are responsible for what happens in our lives and how we respond to the the challenges we will face.  I encourage you to think about what personal visions, goals, dreams, and aspirations are sitting on the shelf.  It is time to dust them off, be creative, develop a strategy, and make them happen.  It takes hope and the belief that if you can see it, you can achieve it.  It will also require hard work, honesty, dedication, and PASSION!  This much I have learned is possible from President Obama's journey and I thank him for being an inspiration.!

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