The one way we can help prevent HIV/AIDS and help educate people about the illness is through simple conversation. Educating, promoting and talking about this disease and the ways to prevent it goes a long way in the prevention of contracting HIV/AIDS. Today, my office, along with dozens of local advocacy groups, are launching a social networking based HIV/AIDS awareness campaign. Using tools that are already used by millions around the country, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, we will be able to re-start the conversation on HIV/AIDS. The campaign, entitled “I Talk Because…”, stems from the idea to talk about your personal story about the disease.
Personally, I talk about HIV/AIDS to the people in my life because I want to make sure that everyone I know and everyone I care about really understands that HIV/AIDS is still a huge problem in our society. That they do everything they can to keep themselves safe and to make sure they don’t infect anyone else unknowingly. As an elected official I talk to other elected and government officials about HIV/AIDS because not withstanding the fact that we are trying very hard to win the battles and the wars against HIV we haven’t. And we have a situation in New York City and in our country where HIV infection rates are going up particularly amongst young people at a time where we have enough information and enough science that that shouldn’t be the case. I talk to my family about HIV/AIDS - in particular my nieces and nephews who are in college and just out of college - because I know what it’s like to be that age. You think you’re invincible, you think you’re immortal you think that nothing can touch you so I give them the free NYC condoms and talk to them HIV/AIDS because I want to make sure they stay safe and they actually in their own way get to be immortal by taking care of themselves.
I want to talk about HIV/AIDS more and I want other people to talk about HIV/AIDS more because there was a time in this city when people literally stopped everything else they were doing, put their jobs on hold, put their personal lives on hold, put their families on hold to go out and change the government perspective on HIV/AIDS, to change the scientific community’s perspective, the pharmacutieul community’s perspective and we have an obligation to honor all of that work and sacrifice and all of those people who have died by not getting complacent. One day we will wake up and things will be as bad as they ever were if we end up being complacent so I urge all of you to talk more, to talk to each other, to talk about HIV/AIDS in the places you think ids least appropriate because those are the places that where is probably the most necessary and I urge you to make your own video and upload them because the truth is, sometimes talk is cheap and sometimes talk isn’t anything at all but as it related to HIV/AIDS talking can literally save lives.
To learn more about the “I Talk Because…” campaign you can visit:
-NYC Council Speaker Christine Quinn