One of the things that disappoints me as I look out into the HIV community here in Fresno is the lack of male involvement in the fight against AIDS. Now don’t get me wrong I’m not saying that there have been no men involved in the fight but I can count on one hand as to how many guys I’ve seen working in this field.
Considering the fact that 85% of the AIDS cases in Fresno County are male, I would expect that the majority of the folks addressing this issue would be men. I found it funny at this one training I was at to hear these women talking about “we can’t find the men”. They were wondering where to go and find them so they can do outreach to them. This is why PROJECT: MALE exist so that more men can get involved in the outreach efforts and become peer educators through our program. I have always believed that it takes a man to get a man; and more importantly men are part of the problem so its just fair that they should be part of the solution. As I had mentioned in a previous article, men make the messes and they expect women to clean up after them. Well not on my watch! It doesn’t matter if you’re Gay, Straight or Bi, all men need to be involved in the solution to this problem before they become the problem by getting infected with HIV/AIDS. No one should have to go hunt you down like some run away child especially if you know you have put yourself at risk for HIV by having unprotected sex or using dirty needles. I feel every man should make it a point to get an HIV test twice a year (every six months) especially when you know you have been practicing risky behaviors. And I really get annoyed when I’m doing outreach with guys and some of them act like they don’t want to hear what I have to say knowing very well that the information I have to give pertains to them. But I always maintain the attitude that I’m doing what I do for those who really care about themselves and want to learn about this information so that they can live longer, happier, and more productive lives. I’m in the life saving business and that’s what I aim to do. Men, you have to understand that if you become HIV positive, your not the only one that has to share that burden. The person you are sleeping with or sharing needles with is also at risk too. And for those of you who have a child, who is going to take care of your child if you become sick or worst yet, dead! And even if you are not HIV positive, I feel that you need to do your part and continue to stay that way. HIV negative men can be just as helpful to this fight by becoming a voice for a friend, lover, or family member who has this disease. I hate to see selfish men turn their backs on their partners and friends because they are infected. If anything, this is the time I say where they need you the most to comfort them through a tough and horrible transition. So fellas, if you don’t know what you can do to get involved in the fight against AIDS, give me a call at PROJECT: MALE (559) 268-1969 and I will be glad to sit down and talk with you and discuss some options.