Wednesday of this week, February 7, is National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day in the USA. It’s the date, conveniently during the USA’s Black History Month observance, to direct people’s attention to the disproportionate impact the HIV/AIDS pandemic has on the African-American community. Americans of African descent constitute 13% of this country’s population yet represent more than 50% of all categories reported in HIV and AIDS related statistics reported to the U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This disparity in infection rates remains a disgrace on the American Public Health system and represents negligence by the both elected officials and leaders.
Here in the USA, every February is designated as Black History Month. This is the time of the year that nationally, we focus on remembering, educating and sharing the accomplishments and achievements of African-Americans and their contributions made to both American history and to American society. One doesn’t have to be a Black American to appreciate the results of Black culture. It is a time for all of us to celebrate the people who overcame innumerable challenges and enriched us all.
No matter what our clothing status maybe, bare (naked, nude) or clothed (textile or clothes-wearer), the pesky and troublesome virus known as influenza (flu) often preys on us all. It doesn’t discriminate because of what we do, or don’t, wear. It can, and does, affect all of us, gay (same gender loving), bisexual (dual gender loving) and opposite gender loving (straight) indiscriminately and without mercy. As a health-conscious man, I dutifully received my annual flu shot for this season on December 1, 2017. Less than three weeks later, I was diagnosed with the flu.
The World Health Organization has designated December 1, annually, as World AIDS Day. This date is significant as all of us, since 1981, are living in a world that is continually suffering the ravages of HIV/AIDS. Despite massive prevention education strategies launched both globally and locally, we have failed to protect ourselves from infection and the stigma falsely associated with those living with HIV (human immunodeficiency virus), the virus that causes AIDS. As a result, we are all living in a world struggling with AIDS.
Throughout the world, tomorrow, the 11th day of the 11th month (November 11), is observed as Armistice Day. On this day in 1918, the armistice or cease-fire was signed and implemented at 11:00 a.m. The armistice ended the carnage and destruction of the Great War (World War I). In the United States, tomorrow is known as Veteran’s Day. In the United Kingdom and throughout the Commonwealth, it is Remembrance Day.
In the USA, it is a time to acknowledge the veterans of all wars, both living and deceased.
When I was a student in primary school, our teacher periodically assigned poems for all of us to commit to memory in order to increase our comprehension of the written English language. As we were all Deaf, this assignment entailed us to not only remember the English words as they were written, but also their equivalent in our manual language: American Sign Language (ASL). For students who were either ten or maybe eleven years old, this was a very intimidating task and was not undertaken lightly.
Today marks the third Wednesday installment of a post series commemorating October as GLBTQ (gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer) Bare History Month. Once again, I remind readers that the “b” in GLBTQ represents bisexual and not bare. Every Wednesday during October a post featuring vintage (old) photographs of clothes-free men publishes here as atonement for the fact that there isn’t a Bare History Month celebrated nationally.