HIV/AIDS is no joke… We salute ‘Empire’ star Jussie Smollett after hearing this touching announcement.
Actor Jussie Smollett is not only an icon and advocate for the LGBT community. He’s also an outspoken advocate for HIV prevention. Recently, the “Empire” actor opened up about HIV in the current generation and explained why the disease is still as much of an issue today as it was decades ago.
According to media reports, Smollett recently sat down for an interview and discussed the downfalls of thinking that HIV isn’t a major health issue in America anymore.
“We get attached to these hashtags and it becomes this social media fad,” he said. “But it’s almost as if HIV/AIDS stopped being the thing to talk about before social media came around. We’ve gotta bring that back because we’re not done.”
And Smollett certainly has a valid point. According to studies, HIV infection rates have remained nearly constant over the past few years, with 50K newly reported infections each year. Sadly, most of those new infections involve Black people and gay men. And according to a recent CDC study, if HIV infection rates remain as they are, more than half of our nation’s Black gay men will become infected with the disease in their lifetime.
With so much at stake, Smollett urged all people to get tested and to help stop the spread of HIV.
“Getting tested, knowing your status, being responsible for yourself and other people is so important — being honest with yourself, number one, so you can be honest with everyone else,” he said.
Smollett also gave some words of hope to those who have already been infected by the disease and he explained why HIV doesn’t have to be seen as something that ruin’s people’s lives.
“We have to remember that it’s not a death sentence. You can live with it and you can live a beautiful, wonderful life with it, but it’s also something that we can prevent,” he said.
We couldn’t have said it any better.