Why Do Young Black Women Have Such High Rates of HIV Infection?

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My foundation does a monthly workshop for high school girls. The topic of the subject is normally body awareness. Why are women, young women of color being infected with HIV at such an alarming rate? And what can I tell my girls so they will not end up in trouble? Well personally I thank you for doing it and I'll usually use you as a role model because I think the biggest problem we have with HIV and by the way just to be clear on this, the AIDS incident is one of the leading causes of death for young black people especially black women and a lot of it although the rates are scalerly dropping a lot of it is caused by folks not realizing how important it is and not understanding that fundamentally it is not just education that is important too it is about self esteem.

Absolutely. You've got to value yourself and this is an example, the issue of condoms. A third of single women report that the last time they had sex, they used a condom, the other two thirds didn't, and the fact that they don't have the confidence themselves and that you can inspire this confidence in them.

And so many of us getting out there and encouraging folks to respect their bodies and appreciate that they can demand from their partners the same thing they want from themselves, I think that's fine. I think so too, I learnt the hard way because I was actually one of those kids that was running wild and when I learnt to love myself, I valued myself and I wasn't doing anything, without protection.

So this is why I believe I'm such a huge role model for so many of them because I have been where they are and trying to figure out and made mistakes. Now it's like no, nobody, I'm precious to myself in that way now because of all the mistakes that I made and thank you so much for helping us.

But I think the big message is you look people in the eye and you say listen I just want you to love yourself as much as I love you, and if you do, you won't do these kinds of things which will ultimately hurt me too.