I have to give Oprah and E for effort. Her show is one of the most widely viewed shows on television , and I'm sure without a doubt she was instrumental in educating someone who didn't believe they were at risk for HIV on the facts about disease transmission.
My problem is the way black gay men are constantly being portrayed as demonizing, selfish, lying men who are only out to infect black women, but more on that later.
For once there was real talk about HIV/AIDS, transmission, treatment, and living with this chronic manageable disease.
The panel of HIV positive women included POZ magazine editor Regan Hofmann , POZ community outreach coordinator and activist Marvelyn Brown , and Women Alive treatment specialist Precious Jackson among others.
In a world where positive people are still afraid to disclose their status because of the stigma that's still attached to this disease, these brave women put their fears aside in order to educate complete strangers on the reality of HIV.
At one point in the show Oprah showed a clip of the late Peter Jennings in a focus group with a group of positive black men on "the down low" who had knowingly infected their wives. The usual blame game was played, but no one asked those men why they never felt comfortable to come out, why they were never able to speak honestly with their wives about their same gender feelings, hell... why they even got married in the first place.
I'm convinced that the rise of HIV infections in the black community is more than just people practicing unsafe sex, but the result of us being ashamed to talk about sex, sexuality, and the myth that this is just a white gay male disease, and because of this our people are paying the price with their lives.
I have to give Oprah 8 out of 10 stars, maybe one day she will be blod enough to invite a group of gay black men on who aren't on the down low to tell their side of the story. Wishful thinking.