#ThrowbackThursdays – RealTalk

originally posted 7/8/09

Peace Fam,

My name is Dwayne Lawson-Brown aka Dwayne B! I’m a poet, Emcee, Breakdancer and all of that… but today, I’m getting on something more important than all of that. I have been working in the HIV prevention field for almost 10 years and most of y’all know that, but lately a lot of people have been asking why am i so serious about it.

Well, lets go there.

I went to school in Stanton Elementary in South East. I grew up off of Stanton Rd. in South East. When I was in 4th grade at Stanton Elm. a group came to my school saying that there is this thing called HIV that is going to be affecting a lot of people in DC, specifically in South East. At the time I thought about how much that sounds like it sucks. (hey i was in forth grade) Then as I got older I watched as this groups prediction became truth. In Washington DC the numbers are so high, and I see people who I know personally coming in to get tested thinking things are all good, and leaving knowing that they need to take better care of themselves.

But the truth is… we all need to be taking better care of ourselves.

For those saying they don’t use condoms ’cause they know their partner isn’t cheating, know that symptoms for some diseases never show up outside of the body. For women, many symptoms of STI’s can be on or around the cervix, and that can’t be seen by the human eye. That means a lot for us guys too, we need to know what we are getting into.

and HIV DOESN’T HAVE SYMPTOMS… so GET OFF THE DUMB STUFF AND GET TESTED!

For those saying it wont happen to me… YES IT WILL! Washington DC has the HIGHEST HIV INFECTION RATE IN THE COUNTRY. And we aren’t even in a state! Its estimated that 3% of the population in DC is infected. An epidemic is classified as 1% of the population, we are 3x AN EPIDEMIC!

GET REAL ABOUT YOUR LIFE AND GET TESTED!

For those that say it doesn’t feel as good with a condom… does it feel good to be burning? Does it feel good to know that you have to tell your partner that you might have given them an STI? Does it feel good to have sores that could cause you to not be able to have kids? The choice of what you feel is yours.

GET OVER YOUR FEELINGS AND PROTECT YOURSELF!

For those who would rather not know if they have something because they are scared that it will end their life… In DC YOU CAN RECEIVE MOST OF YOU HIV MEDS FOR LOW COST! If you doctor doesn’t tell you about it, then hit us up at Metro TeenAIDS at 202.543-0094 and ask for Johanna Squires, she can give you the details.

STOP PLAYING AROUND AND KNOW YOUR STATUS!

For info on the events we host and the HIV Testing we offer, visit RealTalkDC.org, follow us on Twitter and instagram, or visit us at the Peer Education Center.

Peace and safety,

Dwayne B!

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