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What Really Fuels the HIV/AIDS Epidemic in Black America?

February 6, 2012


Deon Haywood

Gender Inequality

Deon Haywood, Executive Director, Women With a Vision, New Orleans

As long as we have economically repressive policies in this country, we're going to have women at risk for HIV. As we often say, HIV can affect anybody, but it's particularly hard on women who are poor.

Policies that target African-American women on welfare -- like Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, which in some states requires a negative drug test to qualify for assistance -- put women at an economic disadvantage that can leave them vulnerable to violence, and to HIV, through possibly unprotected "survival sex" and whatever other activities they need to engage in so that they and their families can survive.

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