A SPECIAL REPORT, "AIDS & BLACK HOLLYWOOD"
We reported last week that an black actor infected with HIV was sleeping with women without protection despite his medical condition. If you listened to Wendy Williams (in 2006), she gave additional details on the HIV-positive rapper. 'He doesn't let anyone drink behind him and sores cover his private parts that's why he always turns off the lights before sex.'
Several years ago, an AIDS infected celebrity made the announcement, "The public would be shocked at how many people in Hollywood are infected with this virus."
I can actually think of a dozen off the top of my head: An Latino hearthrob (male) two R&B singers (male) who were once involved, an former white sex symbol, considered a hunk, etc.
What surprises me, some of these groupies will practice unprotected sex because the man is famous (star struck) or they want to get pregnant. I talked to a groupie last night, she has had bareback sex with several famous rappers, her excuse, 'They pay me more for bareback.' A stripper recently told me, I dated a R&B singer, he told me he loved me, the next time we had sex, he said, if you love me too, you wouldn't insist on a condom. She relented. She had also discounted the bi-sexual rumors regarding this R&B singer (mentioned above) she is now HIV-positive. When she informed him, incredibly, although he infected her, he showed no remorse and hung-up on her. She would sue but he has fallen on hard times, he has no money.
Some of these celebrities get infected at downlow parties, doing sex tape activity or at Hollywood orgies. Due to the 'AIDS cocktail' they show no outward symptoms and continue to look healthy.
Herpes is also rampant in Black Hollywood. A black director, a legendary soul singer and an NBA superstar are all infected with the virus. The director has infected more than a few women and has quietly settled out of court with them.
Single women 'may' actually be safer than married women in regard to AIDS because a lot of single women demand men wear condoms prior to sex whereas a married women is not going to ask her husband (who may be cheating on her) to wear a condom because 'they are married' and that might violate the trust.
We need to get away from the "superman" mentality and the "invincible" mentality. AIDS is here and it's no joke. Nothing should be worth your life, even love. My advice: Before becoming intimate with your partner, both of you should go and get tested, if he or she declines, that should raise a red flag and you should break off the relationship.
Even if the results are negative, continue to use condoms as an added precaution.
Wake up people!
You have numerous people out there who are "intentionally infecting" others with the AIDS virus and they just don't care.
IN RELATED NEWS (AWAY FROM HOLLYWOOD)
A large picture of Regina Grant's four children and newly born grandchild hangs on a wall of her Treasure Island drug treatment center office. To her, the photograph symbolizes the success of her struggle to overcome a decade of heavy drug use fueled by the revelation, almost two decades ago, that she was HIV-positive.
Grant's drug abuse began in 1990, after doctors informed her she had tested positive for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. But over the past six years, Grant has been drug-free and come to grips with her HIV-positive status. Her story reflects the wider struggle of the nation's African American community with HIV/AIDS.
AIDS is now the No. 1 killer of black women between the ages of 24 and 34. In the early 1990s, ignorance about the disease was high among African Americans. For Grant, it was something only gay men got. Growing up in Oakland, Grant and her friends didn't know or talk much about HIV or the dangers of unprotected sex.
"Back then, the worst thing you could get was gonorrhea or crabs," she said during a recent interview.
Grant was infected as the result of a one-night stand with a man. She believes the man, who has since died, didn't know he had the virus at the time. It was about a year later when she was seven months pregnant and had gone into premature labor that she was diagnosed at a local hospital.
"I just didn't believe it," Grant said. "I didn't think about it. I didn't go to the doctor, except for prenatal visits. I didn't address the issue at all. I thought I was going to die. I had a true death sentence."
Grant was shocked, but went on to deliver a healthy HIV-free son. But after the child was born, she began slipping deeper into drug and alcohol use. Her crack cocaine habit grew stronger, and alcohol blurred the time between fixes.
"All me and my friends talked about was dope, and how we could get more," she said. "We didn't read any papers, we didn't watch TV. It was every day. It started off as all addicts, recreational. Then it took off to where it was every day."
According to data from the Alameda County Public Health Department, the number of AIDS cases among women rose steadily from the 1990s through 2003. In 1999, the county declared an AIDS state of emergency. The California State Office of AIDS estimates that about 40,000 Californians are HIV-positive and don't know it. In Alameda County, African Americans represent almost half of the total HIV cases reported from 2002 to 2005, with the majority coming from Oakland, according to data from the Alameda County Department of Public Health.
As her addiction grew, Grant's control of things like taking care of herself and two children faltered. Despite being HIV-positive, she became pregnant with her third child, who was also born free of the virus. Grant said she was still in denial when she got pregnant with her third child.
The child's birth didn't force her back to reality; instead, Grant's drug use only intensified. She and her children were living in a cramped apartment, and she was unable to keep up with the bills.
"The water got cut off, then the phone. (I was) burning clothes in my fireplace to keep warm," she said. "Eventually I became homeless."
Near the end of her decade of drug use, Grant was unable to care for her three children. She became homeless for three months during the worst of her addiction and began prostituting herself because she didn't have any money or a place to live.
Grant's mother and grandmother took charge of her children when it was clear she was out of control, something she appreciates. But she recalls how fears about HIV affected her relationships with family members.
"When I first found out, I can remember my grandmother made me eat off my own knife, fork, plate," Grant said. "I had to spray the toilet with Clorox after I used the ballroom. I lived in this isolated box, all alone. I had my little rag and I would keep it under the sink, and I would spray the toilet."
It was while she was homeless and almost constantly high that Grant became pregnant with her fourth child. She was so out of it mentally that she didn't really know the father.
It was during her fourth pregnancy that Grant realized how far she'd fallen. She fought to stay clean to make sure her child was born healthy and then began the long road to recovery that included a lengthy stay at a detox center. All four of Grant's children know about her past drug addiction. She told her youngest son about her HIV-positive status about a year ago.
Grant's journey back to sobriety and honesty about HIV made her an inspiration to friends and family.
Grant talks regularly to young people, stressing the importance of condom use. She said young people are still tempted to have unprotected sex, despite the devastation AIDS has had, especially on the African American community.
Source: Jason B. Johnson @ The SF Chronicle
AIDS INFECTIONS IN BLACK HOLLYWOOD (UPDATE)
When the AIDS crisis first hit Hollywood, the majority of AIDS victims were men. Not anymore, off the top of my head, I can name three African-American women in Hollywood who have contracted the disease through unprotected sex. Two of the women are in front of the scenes-one is a actress, the other is a singer.
Due to AIDS cocktails, both women continue to look healthy and continue to work with a full schedule. AIDS cocktails enable people to live upwards to 20 years or more but sadly, the cocktail eventually becomes useless.
I only know of two black male celebrities who are infected with the virus but I am sure there are many more infections among men and women, we just haven't heard about it yet and hopefully these people are sharing their diagnosis with their partners.
What bothers me, due to false advertisement stating:' If you use our AIDS related drug, you can go rock climbing, camping, etc.' Due to this type of advertisement, some people are nonchalant about contracting the virus. Some even call it the "new diabetes" because AIDS is no longer a "immediate" death sentence.
Young girls continue to have unprotected sex, stats for teenage pregnancy are slightly up and boys still have that "superman invincibility" attitude we talked about in our first AIDS In Hollywood report.
People need to get serious about this disease and start getting tested every 6 months with their partner. Before you embark on a relationship, you should get tested with your potential boyfriend or girlfriend.
Practice safe sex!