FNV In Today's Issue: December 1 2000

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The FNV Newsletter
written by Davey D
c 2000
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Today all of us should take some time out to acknowledge what is now the 13th annual World AIDS Day. With more then 34 million people either infected with the dreaded HIV virus or suffering from full blown AIDS, the deadly impact of this disease should be sobering. Currently AIDS is one of the leading causes of death among those who are part of the Hip Hop generation. Within the African American community it is the number one cause of death for those under 30. The fastest growing population contracting the disease are women..with sistas making up a whooping 63%. here in Oakland and surrounding Alameda county the rate of infection has gotten so bad that last year a state of emergency was declared. We haven't even spoken about the devastation it has been causing on the continent of Africa.

I mention all this because I recall when Eazy E passed and how shocked everyone was when they discovered that it was a result of AIDS. His death sent shockwaves within the Hip Hop community and helped open people's eyes. His death help shatter the myth of that HIV and AIDS was gay white man's disease. I recall a number of projects jumping off that were designed to target the Hip Hop community and bring vital information about HIV and AIDS and steps on how to prevent the spread. There were two incredible AIDS awareness Hip Hop compilation albums that were produced including 'Stolen Moments' and 'America Is Dying Slowly'. Everyone from Wu-Tang to Organized Konfusion to The Pharcyde to Common, De La Soul and Mobb Deep to name a few, all did insightful heartfelt songs addressing the issues surrounding AIDS. This year groups like Outkast are performing in a World AIDS Day concert called 'Life Beat'.

Here in the Bay Area, Michael Franti of Spearhead recorded a song a few years back called 'Positive' which was adapted by radio stations around the country to bring attention to World AIDS Day. Dwayne Wiggins of Toni Tone Tony help found a project started by some ambitious poets called the Punany Project Hip Hop Psalms. It was a book of safe sex poems and it featured words of wisdom from all sorts of Bay Area Hip Hop artists. The Punany Poets dedicated and continue to dedicate a lot of time and energy into doing shows to help spread the word about AIDS and HIV prevention.. All in all with all the activities and projects, it seemed like the Hip Hop community would be among the most informed about this disease..

The unfortunate reality is AIDS and HIV has spread so rapidly in our community because of ignorance, irresponsibility and recklessness. Like Eazy E who tragically passed because of his desire to live the fast life, many have forgotten his last haunting words which warned us. Folks may recall this sobering statement read by Eazy E's lawyers days before he passed...

"I may not seem like a guy you would pick to preach a sermon. But I feel it is now time to testify because I do have folks who care about me hearing all kinds of stuff about what's up."

"Yeah, I was a brother on the streets of Compton doing a lot of things most people look down on -- but it did pay off. Then we started rapping about real stuff that shook up the LAPD and the FBI. But we got our message across big time, and everyone in America started paying attention to the boys in the 'hood."

"Soon our anger and hope got everyone riled up. There were great rewards for me personally, like fancy cars, gorgeous women and good living. Like real non-stop excitement. I'm not religious, but wrong or right, that's me."

"I'm not saying this because I'm looking for a soft cushion wherever I'm heading, I just feel that I've got thousands and thousands of young fans that have to learn about what's real when it comes to AIDS. Like the others before me, I would like to turn my own problem into something good that will reach out to all my homeboys and their kin. Because I want to save their asses before it's too late."

"I'm not looking to blame anyone except myself. I have learned in the last week that this thing is real, and it doesn't discriminate. It affects everyone. My girl Tomika and I have been together for four years and we recently got married. She's good, she's kind and a wonderful mother. We have a little boy who's a year old. Before Tomika I had other women. I have seven children by six different mothers. Maybe success was too good to me. I love all my kids and always took care of them."

"Now I'm in the biggest fight of my life, and it ain't easy. But I want to say much love to those who have been down to me. And thanks for your support."

Just remember: it's YOUR real time and YOUR real life.

Eazy E

Many of us have forgotten these words. Many of us have reverted back to irresponsible behavior. Many of us have allowed ourselves to remain ignorant to the facts and the results have been devastating.. Every year there is a theme associated with World AIDS Day. One year the theme was 'Force For Change: World AIDS Campaign With Young People', Another year the theme was 'Listen, Learn, Live: World AIDS Campaign with Children and Young People'. This year the theme is 'AIDS : Men Make A Difference'. If you ask me five years after Eazy E's death its an appropriate that should strike a nerve within the ranks of Hip Hop. At a date and time when so many of us are attempting to be pimps playas and macks, we have to take one giant step back and take a long hard look. At a date and time where so many of us have videos oozing with scantily clad women oozing with sex, we have to be cognizant of the type of message we convey to younger cats as well as ourselves. Many of us portray the air about us that suggests its ok for us to creep around and keep one, two or three females on the side while we have our 'main honey at the crib.. We mess around and slip up just once and boom-HIV and then AIDS.. The sad secret we never want to talk about is what happens to so many us behind the walls inside prison. There's some ill things taking place and when cats get out they inadvertently spread the disease not realizing they have been infected. Many of us act like there is no longer a risk in having sex. Many of us have been so into getting our mack on and our sex groove down that we have all but forgotten Eazy E's final words. At the time of his death he was the ultimate mack.. How soon we forget our history.

In anycase its up to us brothas to do the right thing. lets keep ourselves informed.. Lets help with the fight to find a cure. Lets get tested and be honest with ourselves. Finally lets set an example for our seeds as well as ourselves and behave responsibly. The rapid spread of this disease in our community is inexcusable and well within our reach and preventing. Hopefully brothas will take this to heart and step up their game. and hold it down.. Keep HIV and AIDS at bay and don't let Eazy E's death be something that happen in vain..


HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus - a virus that attacks the immune system and stops it from fighting off the germs and viruses that make you sick. It can also lead to AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome), for which there is no cure.
There are only 3 ways to become HIV- positive
1.Through unprotected sex...Sex without a condom

2. From an infected mother to baby. During pregnancy, at birth or through breastfeeding

3. Through contact with infected blood
e.g.: By sharing needles or razor blades. This may occur with drug use, tattooing, traditional markings, circumcision, ear-piercing, etc. if the instrument used has infected blood on it.

You cannot get aids from .

sneezing, swimming holding hands, tears, saliva, living together, kissing or hugging, being close to someone with AIDS, toilet seats, dancing, eating food prepared by someone with AIDS, donating blood, mosquitoes, pets, moths or bedbugs swimming pools and baths, door handles and rails, sharing cups, mugs, forks, food or drinks second hand clothes

If you are infected HIV, it will take three to nine months before it shows up in an HIV test. This is called the 'window period'. During this time, the virus can be passed on the others.

Having a simple blood test is the only way .

Having a simple blood test is the only way .to know if you have been infected with HIV and are HIV positive. An HIV test does not tell you whether you have AIDS. Testing is also the first step to getting medical care, counseling and support if you need it.

Tell others what you know about HIV/AIDS. Your knowledge could save the lives of friends and family. Don't assume that they know about HIV/AIDS

HIV infection
If you start treatment at this point, you can extend your life expectancy by 5-10 years

4 - 12 weeks

If you don't get treatment until you are AIDS sick, you may live no longer than 12 - 18 months
7 Years
In the first seven years there are no visible signs of the disease

2 years The virus affects your immune system. You will start experiencing recurring infections, such as flu, mouth ulcers and pneumonia

2 years As your immune system is depleted, the infections get worse. Your bodily functions fail and you will die from severe infection, weight loss and weakness 9 Months ...

Should I be tested? Have you:  Had sex without knowing for sure if the person you had sex with does not have HIV or AIDS  Had sex with someone you know has HIV or AIDS  Had a disease passed on by sex, like genital herpes or syphilis (Having these diseases makes it easier to get HIV)  Had sex with many men or woman or had sex with someone who has had sex with many men or woman  Had sex with someone who uses or shares needles to take drugs
If you have answered yes to any of these questions, you should think about having the HIV test.

South Africa has the worst infection rate in the world with 1600 new infections per day.

How will the HIV test help me? If the test shows that you don't have HIV, you can learn how to stay HIV free. If the test shows that you do have HIV, you can get immediate medical care to help you:  Stay healthy for longer  Avoid getting some illnesses caused by HIV; and Get early treatment for any illnesses that do occur.

Don't put off getting your test results. The test can only help you
when you find out what it shows

How does the HIV test work? The HIV test shows if you have the virus that caused AIDS. 1. You go to your occupational health practitioner, clinic or doctor. You will be told about the test and have the opportunity to ask questions and talk about your fears and concerns.
2. You decide to have the test. A doctor or a nurse will take blood from your arm using a needle.
3. Your blood is sent for testing. If the first test is positive (shows signs of HIV), the blood is tested again. It the second test is positive, another test is done to confirm the result.
4. The test results are returned. You will need to go back to your clinic or doctor for the results. You will be told the result, what it means and how you can help yourself.

HIV test results are confidential

AIDS update

More than 70% of global HIV infections and 80% of AIDS deaths have occurred in Africa

More than 6-million people died of AIDS in Africa in 1998

In Southern Africa, 20-26% of the population between the ages of 15 and 50 are HIV positive.

In Malawi, the average life expectancy is 27 years. In Zimbabwe, it is 39 years. In South Africa, life expectancy is 65 years, but this is expected to drop to 50 by 2005

========END OF NEWSLETTER================

Send comments, questions and concerns to
The FNV Newsletter
written by Davey D
c 2000
All Rights Reserved

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