So there's been this hashtag on Twitter lately that started around Valentine's Day, to #lovesafely. UNAIDS started the trend as part of their Prevention Revolution campaign. But what does this actually mean? Using a condom? Making sure your partner has been tested? We're hosting some more free HIV testing in the GSU this Thursday (third floor, 10 am to 2 pm). But why is this important?
Some people think HIV and AIDS aren't a problem in the United States anymore, especially at a "rich kid" private university like BU. But for those of you with the attitude that people on this campus shouldn't need to get tested, you are the reason why the stigma of HIV still exists.
Mother-to-child transmission of HIV in the United States has been virtually eliminated. Many communities most affected by HIV in the US are yes, of low socioeconomic status. But we as leaders in Boston, in the United States and around the world should fight the stigma against those that have HIV. We should get tested proudly, because it's the smart, safe thing to do, rather than treating HIV testing as taboo. By getting tested regularly, we can make sure that we keep these infection rates low.
Some of you may say- well, using condoms is common sense. We all learned that in sex ed in high school. But did you know the porn industry in the U.S. prefers not to use condoms, because filmmakers believe fewer people will watch? This approach has caused actors to contract HIV. Condoms aren't sexy, according to porn stars.
Students at the University of South Carolina recently fought against this idea. USC hosted an event last week called Project Condom, where students and groups across campus designed dresses made entirely out of condoms. Models strutted their stuff covered in rubbers down the runway, and with heads held high, they made the most fashionable statement of all- #lovesafely.
Credit: Keri Goff, The Daily Gamecock
Pictured above is a model in the Project Condom show at USC. Read the full story here.
We at BU are lucky to have access to HIV testing and treatment, and we should take full advantage of it. You don't have to come to our event to be tested- there are tons of resources on campus and in Boston. Just check out this list by the Community Service Center. Above all, have fun this Spring Break and #lovesafely!