HIV and Black Women - Not Hype, But The "Straight-Up Truth"

Posted by Digital_Zone on August 4th, 2022

Four years ago, Janine married Gary, her senior school sweetheart. Gary was handsome, charming, successful, and an excellent father to Janine's teenage children from a previous marriage. They bought a beautiful brand new home in the suburbs and Janine thought she was living the American dream. That is before day she paid attention to Gary's voice messages and heard another man calling her husband, "baby." Janine's perfect dream world quickly turned into a devastating nightmare. Four years later, Janine continues to be struggling with depression, financial debt, and other health issues. "Unfortunately Janine's story is all too common", says Joy Marie, mcdougal of the explosive, informative, new book, The Straight-Up Truth About The Down-Low: Women share their stories of betrayal, pain and survival (Creative Wisdom Books-March 2008).

"Black women would be the fastest growing HIV/AIDS population in the US and they are most probably be infected through high-risk heterosexual contact. This includes phone sex with black women living the down-low lifestyle. Many women who're married or in long-term relationships believe they are safe and not at risk of being infected. Ladies in marriages are lulled right into a false sense of security", says Marie. Joy Marie is the pen name of two women who have survived marriages to down-low men. Four years ago, the "Down-low" was a hot, controversial topic discussed in the media. Recently, the subject of the down-low appears to be taboo and has been swept under the rug and labeled "hype" and a "myth." "The Down-low is not hype or a fantasy, nor is it merely another method to vilify black men.

This is evidenced by the numerous letters, e-mails and phone calls we receive every week from feamales in crisis because they've discovered their husbands/boyfriends are sleeping with men behind their backs. Recently, we received a telephone call from a female whose sister had contracted HIV/AIDS from her down-low husband. The sister was hospitalized with pneumonia and an extremely low T-cell count. We believe the account of our experiences and what we have learned from other women will take about awareness and a heightened sense of self-responsibility. We would like women to become informed, thus able to protect themselves from the men who practice this deceitful, life-threatening behavior", says Marie.

The Straight-Up Truth About The Down-Low is crucial read for many women. It had been compiled by two women who have experienced the anguish and misery of being married to men on the down-low. They share from their hearts their stories and the stories of other women who have lived through this experience.

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