Believing the No problem here propaganda
Sep 13, 2008
Good Doctor, I just wanted to write to you and your readers and let them know not to buy in to the many recent articles out there that suggest that HIV is that gay and black disease. Ive been reading too many articles that have indirectly implied how HIV has been blown way out of proportion for the rest of us. Unfortunately, I found myself believing this absolute bullshit and behaving accordingly (not practicing safe sex consistently). I will be going to my locale STD clinic and will take the HIV rapid test. If I find myself with a positive test, I will take full responsibility for my actions. However, journalist should understand that they can and do contribute to the attitudes the many individuals carry concerning this disease.
Thanks for taking the time to read this,
Regretfully believing others.
Response from Dr. Frascino
Thanks for your comments. I believe the journalists of whom you speak are missing the critical point. The flurry of news reports stems from a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the latest available statistics (2006) we have on the HIV epidemic here in the U.S. The take-home message is that the HIV epidemic is far worse than was previously known here in the USA. Instead of the 40,000 estimated new HIV infections per year here in the U.S., the actual number is 40% higher, i.e. 56,300 new infections! That is shocking and should be a wakeup call for all Americans that we desperately need a national HIV strategy for HIV awareness, education, prevention and treatment. The Bush administration has been and continues to be both negligent and incompetent in this regard.
The new report, for the first time, breaks down the 56,300 new infections in terms of race, gender and age. It shows an alarming prevalence of new infections in young black gay men roughly twice that of white or Hispanic gay men in the 13-29 age group. Almost half of the new HIV cases in the U.S. in 2006 were among white men who have sex with men (gay or bisexual). Black women, while having fewer new HIV infections than back men, were disproportionately affected by HIV compared to women of other races. Black women have an incidence rate nearly 15 times as high as white women and four times as high as Hispanic women.
Another take-home message that can be drawn from this new information is that the new infections can be attributed to a variety of factors including lack of access to effective HIV prevention services, underestimation of personal risk, lack of HIV/AIDS awareness, inadequate HIV/AIDS (and sex) education and the glaring lack of a coordinated domestic policy to combat new HIV infections in the U.S.
These are the facts. Anyone of any race, gender or age who assumes they are immune to HIV or that HIV/AIDS can't or won't infect them is deluding themselves and playing sexual Russian roulette.
One final take-home lesson: only one presidential candidate has as policy to tackle the domestic HIV/AIDS problem, Barrack Obama. I urge anyone who feels HIV/AIDS is a critical problem in the U.S. to vote for Obama and the Democrats in November.
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