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Aug 23, 2013The Daily News ran a piece entitled Disease Alley: Bronx Zip Code 10457 Has the Highest of Dual STD Sufferers in The City. THE ENTIRE NEW YORK CITY.
The piece explains how residents in this particular Bronx zip code have at least two of the following STD’s:HIV hepatitis B, hepatitis C, gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydia and tuberculosis?”This got me thinking about what major campaigns or sex education curriculums have arguably lesser known STD’s as prominent as HIV/ AIDS. Sex education usually stresses HIV/ AIDS so much that other STD’s are seen as less serious, less likely to be contracted, and in some cases completely forgotten about.The immediate comments following the article were:“I knew it would be The Bronx. Lotz of dope users.” Actually the title says it in big bold letters above.“What do you expect when most residents of 10457 can’t even spell STD?”And the eloquent: “We are the ones paying for these creatures aids treatments, at 40-80K for the rest of their lives.” SO MUCH WRONG WITH THIS.HOLD ON! 10457 is my zip code!I can tell you first hand that finding a condom in my neighborhood is damn near impossible. I remember sitting down one day and wondering where I could go and get a condom for free if I needed one and not being able to come up with anywhere that was within walking distance from my home.The comments go on to talk about how terrible myself and my neighbors are.However, not one of the comments I read, and I had to soon stop because it appears the Daily News has captured the most ignorant and judgmental audience in New York City, stopped to think about the lack of access, affordability, and social problems that factor into these findings.While the Upper West Side and Upper East Side richer neighborhoods have more access, information, and actually teach a more comprehensive sex education curriculum in their schools. The reality is The Bronx and specifically 10457 is way behind with all of the above.As a resident I’m racking my brain about the initiatives I can start to change my neighborhood from “Disease Alley” to “Accurate Sex Education Condom Alley.”Categories: Condoms, Contraceptive Access, Reproductive Justice, Safer Sex, Sex Education, Sexual Health, Young People