**Disclosure: This post is made possible by support from the We Can Stop HIV One Conversation at a Time campaign. All opinions are my own.**
Although I am a teacher, I believe education starts at home. The earlier some life facts are approached, the better. Some subjects, like sex, need to be discussed in the preteen years. It´s important to have these conversations at home, before the kids are sexually active, and not when it´s already too late. Not having the one conversation can make a world of a difference, especially in the Latino community, where sex talk is often taboo at home. Homosexuality is even more of a taboo. And yet we need to be more open about it. That one conversation with our children, our nephews and nieces, can make a difference between life and death. It can also make the difference between living a life of shame and pain or feeling informed, confident and self-assured.
The numbers of HIV cases in the Latino community are scary. According to the CDC fact sheet,“Hispanics represent about 17 percent of the U.S. population, but account for an estimated 20 percent of people living with HIV (242,000 persons) and an estimated 21 percent of new infections (9,800) in the United States each year.”
This is hair-raising! HIV is still a widespread problem and the only way to lower the numbers is through education, with one conversation. Here, parents and teachers can find resources to learn how to communicate with their children and make them aware of the life-threatening potential risks of unprotected sex. More information such as how and where to get tested if necessary can also be found.
If my friend Antonio had had a more open relationship with his parents and he hadn’t been ashamed of coming out to them as a homosexual, he would probably still be alive now. True that this happened two decades ago, and people are finally more accepting and understanding, but Latinos are still very conservative when it comes to talking openly about sex.
Sin Vergüenza is a great resource, a series of four episodes that can help with the process of understanding and learning how to have the conversation that may save lives.
The more people we reach with One Conversation, the better! Please follow and share Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. for One Conversation. Let´s help our community thrive and be informed, empowered and healthy!