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HIV/AIDS Resource Center for African Americans
Kai Chandler Lois Crenshaw Gary Paul Wright Fortunata Kasege Keith Green Lois Bates Greg Braxton Vanessa Austin Bernard Jackson

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

February 6, 2012

 7/12 

Claire Simon

Untreated and Undiagnosed STDs

Claire Simon, Communications Manager, Co-Founder/Co-Director, Young Women of Color HIV/AIDS Coalition, New York

Undiagnosed and untreated sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are known to increase the chances of one being infected with HIV because they suppress your immune system, making you more vulnerable to seroconverting. The CDC estimates that there are approximately 19 million new STD infections each year -- almost half of them among young people 15 to 24 years of age. In a 2008 report, the CDC found that one in two African-American girls has had at least one STD.

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Related Stories

The Culture War in the Black HIV/AIDS Movement Is Hurting Us All
More Views on HIV/AIDS in the African-American Community


This article was provided by TheBody.com.


Reader Comments:

Comment by: jp (miamuh,fl) Fri., Oct. 17, 2014 at 11:27 am EDT
Do You really believe this nonsense?
Not one reference!
To state white people consume more drugs than other races?
No references ,just more polarization of tribes against each other.
This author needs education!
It's simple desperate acts of desperate people!
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Comment by: leonard slater (ny) Thu., Oct. 16, 2014 at 12:30 pm EDT
I totally disagree with the concept that poverty and poor housing is the cause of the spread of HIV infection among the black population. We must take responsibility for our behavior. Unprotected sex is no excuse. stop blaming others for things we have control over. Ms.Floyd wants to give license to others and when things get out of control ,play the blame game.
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Comment by: Paul (NYC) Wed., Oct. 8, 2014 at 7:46 am EDT
AS A DOWN LOW BI WHITE GUY, I CAN TELL YOU THAT THE INCIDENCE OF SEX WITHOUT CONDOMS IS SIGNIFICANTLY HIGHER IN THE DOWN LOW MALE AFRICAN AMERICAN POPULATION ACCOUNTING FOR A SIGNIFICANT PORTION OF THE HIGH HIV RATES. MORE SEX ED SHOULD HELP WITH THIS
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Comment by: catherine ( virginia) Tue., Oct. 7, 2014 at 8:34 pm EDT
I have never heard of a christian church telling a gay person they are worthless. A sin is a sin, no sin is greater than the other. And teaching about sin is part of church. I think its just an excuse to once again make God or His people at fault.
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Comment by: Lillian Porter (Asheville NC) Mon., Oct. 6, 2014 at 2:32 pm EDT
As I submitted this I noticed that my personal info is not included. Here again is my comment:
Contraception is an overlooked cause, particularly progesterones such as Depo-Provera. It is surprising that there are many references to this yet the media rarely addresses this: http://www.nature.com/news/2011/111007/full/news.2011.582.html
African American women are most likely to take these medications: http://www.cwpe.org/node/185
At this second link, find listed many complications of progesterone therapy, including this:
"HIV, Chlamydia, & Gonorrhea: Recent studies have shown that women using Depo have an increased risk of contracting HIV, chlamydia, and gonorrhea"
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Comment by: Anonymous Mon., Oct. 6, 2014 at 2:23 pm EDT
One overlooked cause (inexplicably not dealt with by the mainst media) is contraception, particularly progesterones such as Depo-Provera: http://www.nature.com/news/2011/111007/full/news.2011.582.html
Who currently uses Depo-Provera?
"In a recent study of Depo users in the U.S., 33 percent were under the age of 19, 84 percent were Black women, and 74 percent were low income."
What are the side-effects? Among several listed there is this:
"HIV, Chlamydia, & Gonorrhea: Recent studies have shown that women using Depo have an increased risk of contracting HIV, chlamydia, and gonorrhea".
http://www.cwpe.org/node/185
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Comment by: Lana (Dallas, TX) Thu., Oct. 2, 2014 at 11:52 am EDT
There are real factors here that make sense. All adults need to take responsibility for their actions, but there are real life factors that may cause a high infection rate and mortality rate in not just HIV/AIDS but also breast cancer. I only agree with 2 of the factors in this article and that is healthcare and poverty. They go hand in hand. I am a professional women, born and raised in a middle class suburban home with both of my married parents. I have one child, she is in pre-med and I am 37. I do not make enough to afford medical insurance even under the healthcare reform. For me $139/mo is still too high. I do practice safe sex, but have been with the same person for 1 1/2 years. Neither one of us have insurance so if either one of us has any infections we would not know. I have tried in the Dallas area to find medical care but it is almost impossible for people who work.

Did you know that adults do not qualify for medicaid even if they are unemployed unless they are women with children? I know men who are raising their children alone and cannot get the same healthcare coverage as a single mother. Those people that do not struggle daily and have medical insurance can never imagine the struggles just to try to stay healthy.
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Comment by: Mike Mc (Virginia) Fri., Sep. 5, 2014 at 1:52 am EDT
Most of the 12 reasons sound more like excuses. One says lack of testing while the MD acknowledges that testing rates are highest among black males. Who to believe?
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Comment by: Truth (Can't be found) Fri., Aug. 29, 2014 at 12:49 pm EDT
Lack of access to quality healthcare? Didn't King O'Bama fix that?
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Comment by: Natasha (Conway, AR) Thu., Jul. 31, 2014 at 1:40 pm EDT
What a bunch of bull. Survival sex? Whatever! I have been dirt poor all of my life. I mean struggling for the next meal for myself and my children and not once have I ever been tempted to have "survival sex", let's call it what it is, prostitution. Having sex for monetary reasons is prostitution. My morals simply don't allow "survival sex" to be a possibility. What nonsense!
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Comment by: Kevin Walters (Spokane Wa) Mon., Jul. 28, 2014 at 5:39 pm EDT
It seems that the Black Community still does not take "responsibility" for itself. We blame poverty, government policies, and not "learned behaviors for the problems we inflict on ourselves. Responsible Sexual Conduct, should be taught first in the home, by parent(s) If half as much time were spent seeking employment, as is spent chasing drugs & sex, it would reduce infection rates significantly. Black folk will not be able to compete for better employment, until they begin "Educating themselves, and getting better skills. It is extremely annoying that people will wade aross rivers, hike thru mountains, cross deserts risking their lives get here, and many find employment (legal employment) Yet "Pookie", won't get offa his backside to find a job. Poverty doesn't lead to crime, stupidity does. There are "other options for our people, and it seems we refuse to do whats necessary to break the chains of behaviors which lead to failure. The worse thing in all of this is, we've done this to ourselves, no one else....and it continues ad infinitum.
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Comment by: Rodney Allen (Hampton, Va) Wed., Jul. 30, 2014 at 9:48 am EDT
I assume you are speaking from your own sucess and looking at other black people and say why can't they be like me. We did not do this to ourselves. This is generations and generations of the effects of slavery and discrimination. I thank God and appreciate my own sucess and the benefits I'm awarded however I understand that some people who look like me suffer from a lack of education and a poverished environment. Don't be so closed minded in the problems of other black people because in a matter of seconds you can be treated and judged like you are "Pookie." regards of your status....you are still black


Comment by: Ed Abenathy (Florida) Mon., Jul. 28, 2014 at 5:19 pm EDT
Th bottom line after blaming everyone else is the people themselves. They don't get educated, they don't abstain from pre-marital sex, but they blame everyone else or the system.
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Comment by: tired of excuses (Columbia, SC) Sat., Jul. 26, 2014 at 2:24 pm EDT
all of these are excuses for a black culture destroy8ing itself and wanting to blame anyone but the person they see in the mirror. The black community MUST change to survive.
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Comment by: Geoff (Kampala Uganda) Fri., Jul. 25, 2014 at 11:06 am EDT
The article goes to ridiculous lengths to avoid the obvious while nurturing the notion that HIV/AIDS is a "gay disease". In Africa, Eastern Europe and elsewhere it has established itself in heterosexual populations. HIV and other sexually transmitted disease are caused by having lots of sex with lots of different people. As long as a subculture that not only tolerates but honors and celebrates misogyny, drug use, and rampant serial promiscuity persists the disease will spread.
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Comment by: greg raleigh (washington DC) Mon., Jul. 21, 2014 at 1:52 pm EDT
Here are my reasons for the epidemic; #1 black males(juveniles/adults) coming out of jail without being tested and refusing to get tested once released. #2 lack of parenting that teaches our boys about their sexuality which would discourage our boys from experimenting in dangerous sexual activity with other males.#3 lack of educating our males about the science of the male body that would explain that their body isn't design for certain sex acts. #4 The media(print,television,radio) and entertainment industries encouraging our males to participate in same sex acts for social acceptance.
Greg Raleigh/Youth counselor
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Comment by: Rodney Allen (Hampton Va) Wed., Jul. 30, 2014 at 10:03 am EDT
As a youth counselor I think you should know that alot of these young boys are raped or forced into a life style of same sex relationships because of their environment. The lack of showing a young man what a man is and the image of a man contributes to their behavior. Instead of blaming the boys why not blame the irresponsible fathers for not owning up to their responsibilities. And the mommas for teaching these little monters how to be the best criminal possible. If you think the child is bad wait until you meet the parents.


Comment by: Mark (Columbus, OH) Tue., Jul. 15, 2014 at 4:18 pm EDT
What is 'survival sex', I need to understand the relationship between sex and family survival.
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Comment by: kevin (san diego, ca) Tue., Jul. 15, 2014 at 2:58 pm EDT
This article is a list of blame game gotcha points that have little or no bearing on the root cause of the problem. Black values, or rather the lack there of, is the problem. The celebration of immoral themes in rap music is an indicator. The failure of the black family, and the black community mores are the real culprits here. Until Balck America takes responsibility for itself, the Government programs they want have no influence on anthing other than continued bad behaviour. Don't blame whitey for your poor decision making and lack of responsibility. We have an affirmative action success story in President Obama. He did lots of illegal drugs, by his own admission and succeeded at alevel few thought possible.
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Comment by: EDMOND BROWN (SAN FRECISCO) Sun., Jul. 13, 2014 at 8:46 pm EDT
CRAZY how demodrats say every elaction they will help the poor but it just gets worse.I AM OFFICIALLY CHANGING TO A INDEPENDENT and not voting for the liers anymore..
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Comment by: Scott (Houston, TX.) Sun., Jul. 13, 2014 at 10:23 am EDT
This is the type of message that the Obama voter will by into.
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Comment by: Rob Cheeley, MD (Kunming, China) Sun., Jul. 13, 2014 at 4:27 am EDT
I find it interesting that you identified the 10 things that 'really' drive HIV in the black population, and didn't find even one which encourages anyone to take some responsibility for themselves. Yes, there are many factors which contribute, and most of those you've identified are significant, however, in working with HIV/AIDS for many years, I have found that there are also many ways in which culture and society encourage people to think that such illnesses are always everyone else's fault, and never 'mine'. I believe you could invest your information far more strategically if you would balance the idea that 'no person with HIV is ever responsible for what has happened' with 'it is essential to take responsibility for our life and actions and culture'. I would say that the black community in the US are most responsible, because year by year, they choose to establish culture which teaches the children that there is no need to be responsible for their own actions. I've been very pleased to see Bill Cosby sowing the seeds into the community of finally taking responsibility for their culture rather than always pointing the finger at others.
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Comment by: tyron (charelston, sc.) Fri., Jul. 11, 2014 at 11:45 am EDT
i agree with the low education, poor health care for testing, and late testing. but to blame it on prison and being poor. a person should want to be on welfare unless they have to. and they should want to get off as soon as they can. as for going to prison, dont do things that put you in that situation. the only good reason i see for breaking the law is. if you need food and have exaughsted every other option. now welfare was setup to help those who need it for short periods of time, or those who have disabilities. but know and days people stay on welfare almost there whole life. and some have more dependents to get more money. so the real reason anyone gets it is for poor decision making. it doesn't matter rich, pooor, or middle class. wrap the tool before you lose your cool. this will help in getting the numbers down. i do understand that is not the only way a person can contract the desiese. but it is the most commin. stop doing research on how people are being stupid. spend the damn money for a cure and sex education on how to prevent the spread of the disease.
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Comment by: Dave (Sparta, NJ) Thu., Jul. 10, 2014 at 2:22 pm EDT
What really fuels the HIV / AIDs epidemic in black people, how about the black people themselves? Stop playing the victim and take responsibility for your own actions rather than blaming everyone else for your self-inflicted woes. Until the black community decides to step up and act all the external help in the world isn't going to do them any good. You don't see other ethnic groups such as the PR's or Mexicans running around playing the woe is us game, no, they self-police their own members. If the blacks want to work their way out of this situation their community needs to come together and enforce standards of conduct in their own members. Better yet, you've got a black president right now, ask him to forgo his vacations and golf games for awhile, take some responsibility (god-forbid), stop blaming everyone else (George Bush didn't do this Barry) and help out his own people. Wouldn't that be nice for a change!
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Comment by: Robert Matthews (San Diego, CA) Thu., Jul. 10, 2014 at 1:32 pm EDT
You might not be able to solve the HIV problem as an individual, but you can protect yourself by limiting your sexual contacts to your own husband or wife after getting tested.
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Comment by: DB (The States) Wed., Jul. 9, 2014 at 10:00 pm EDT
I'm sure rampant promiscuity in the black community and a reluctance to share a HIV+ diagnosis since you get no booty that way have absolutely nothing to do with it.
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Comment by: bridd (seattle. wa) Sat., Jun. 14, 2014 at 2:28 pm EDT
obviously Uncle Sam is a horrible dad. When you remove the family from the family and replace it with government, this seems to be the sad results.
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Comment by: tina (washingtion dc) Tue., Jun. 3, 2014 at 9:55 am EDT
do we know how many black/african american people whom where told by infection controls drs there infected but find out there not infected the medicine makes you sick not the disease
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Comment by: shood1943 (USA) Mon., May. 26, 2014 at 6:37 pm EDT
Aids is spread in other ways besides sex.
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Comment by: justasking (LA, CA, USA) Wed., May. 21, 2014 at 9:15 pm EDT
So the HIV rates are just as high among poor Whites, Hispanics, Asians?
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Comment by: PleaseDontYammer (Syracuse NY) Wed., Sep. 3, 2014 at 1:38 pm EDT
You are asking exactly the right question. The one possibility that has not been adequately addressed by this article is whether there are genetic factors affecting the ease of transmission of HIV, that have different prevalance in black and white populations. We actually know of one that fits this description: the polymorphic variation of the ccr5 receptor in the immune system. Nearly 20% of descendents of northern Europeans have a variation in this gene, which renders them less susceptible to HIV infection. The corresponding rate in 1st-generation African immigrants is below 1%. With sorting of sex partners (and presumably drug-use partners) by race, this small difference could be magnified into a much larger difference in overall infection rates among blacks and whites. The possible role of such genetic variations in the overall pattern of infection has not been adequately investigated. The simple epidemiological study suggested by JustAsking would provide an important clue as to whether or not this is an overlooked factor of great importance.


Comment by: Ulver (Georgia) Sat., May. 3, 2014 at 4:55 pm EDT
Thank you Mother Nature for AIDS...
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Comment by: oiltrdr (chicago) Wed., Jul. 16, 2014 at 2:33 am EDT
Thank you Margaret Sanger


Comment by: Joe (Arizona) Tue., Apr. 22, 2014 at 6:01 pm EDT
Anal Sex
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Comment by: Tobus Jarier (Atlanta, GA) Tue., Mar. 25, 2014 at 7:38 pm EDT
Really interesting article. My only problem is with the facts. You report all these wonderful statistics as if, by magic, they just happen. No men are at their workplace or at home taking care of their families and "poof" they are incarcerated. They committed crimes. Regardless of how many more white folks do drugs, if we do them too, then we are culpable. All of your facts and stats speak as if there is some gigantic cloud that follows us around and makes HIV and other things just happen to us like a curse. Yes, we may lack education but how many of our young men do we have to bury from drug use or gang violence before our brains say "Wait a minute...if I do the same things I can expect the same result." We are not preprogrammed to fail...but you are writing as if no black person is capable of making responsible decisions. Every human being is responsible for their own choices. Yes, we started off badly but we have to stop making the same bad decisions generation after generation. And as long as we pretend that its someone elses fault, we will continue.
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Comment by: Sherri (Idaho) Wed., May. 21, 2014 at 9:11 pm EDT
Bless you. We can never hope to stop this pandemic if we don't deal with facts. The fact is this virus doesn't care what color, young or old, gender, rich or poor or if you're on the moon. When you come in contact with it, you can be infected.


Comment by: dale (Arizona) Mon., Feb. 3, 2014 at 5:42 am EST
It is sad to see so many new cases when it has been so well explained time and again to the public..
..I am poor and white and not quite old enough for government insurance..But I know how to get aids..I think almost everyone does..Your choices in life cause these things to happen..it is not caused by society..take care of yourself please..
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Comment by: Don (Detroit) Sun., Dec. 22, 2013 at 8:29 am EST
Ignorance, irresponsibility and lack of control.

The truth sometimes hurts. Deal with it.
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Comment by: jan (LA) Sat., May. 3, 2014 at 6:34 am EDT
EXACTLY !


Comment by: Dykes Lynn Pruitt (Shelburne, VT) Tue., Dec. 17, 2013 at 2:22 pm EST
We will not reduce the incidence of new HIV cases until we recognize one fact: if an uninfected person marries another uninfected person, and they remain faithful to each other, then there is almost a zero chance of becoming infected by HIV. That is the only sure way of slowing the tragic loss of life due to AIDS in the African-American community.
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Comment by: Sheldon (Wake Forest) Fri., May. 2, 2014 at 1:30 pm EDT
Behavior modification isn't in the "at risk" groups manifesto, but I agree 100% with you. Try making this point to a group of people that like their "freedom" and you might just have to get a police escort whenever you leave the house. I had some people get very angry with me for bringing this discussion topic up in a forum and I'm glad my location was anonymous!


Comment by: hypermasculinity (Seneca Falls) Tue., Nov. 26, 2013 at 12:32 pm EST
Hypermasculinity. The belief among males that risky sex with large numbers of women proves their worth.
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Comment by: johnnie (DC) Tue., Nov. 12, 2013 at 10:55 pm EST
Isn't this a list of , what contributes to "HIV poz" cases in general?
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Comment by: Christoban (Silver Springs, MD) Thu., Oct. 31, 2013 at 9:48 pm EDT
As long as African American people focus their attention on blaming others for their woes there will always be a litany of people and issues to chose from. These are all real and some serious. The only thing any of us can control is ourselves and the only group we have a chance of influencing is those close to us, our communities. African Americans need to own the problem and deal with it. The world seems to hate the Jews yet they are the most successful ethnic group. The Chinese were brought as near slaves for the railroads, now they dominate UC Berkeley. Own it Black America - Read Napoleon Hill and get on with the business of succeeding. We need you in the winning game, as neighbors and friends, not in stands whining. Leave the excuses with the shackles you no longer wear.
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Comment by: #1 J man (Durham,N.C.) Wed., Dec. 18, 2013 at 10:47 am EST
Well said Christoban.Anyone can rise up and recover except from death.Start bettering yourself then work on your family,then your neighborhood,and your community all of course with Gods help.


Comment by: Logan (Orlando Florida) Wed., Oct. 16, 2013 at 12:43 am EDT
You left one reason out. Lack of self control. Lack of self control got Trayvon Martin killed. If he had not attacked George Z. he would still be alive.

When black women have sex with every man they meet, well you know the rest. Also when black men will have sex with any available orifice, again you know the results.
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Comment by: karl anglin (California) Tue., Apr. 22, 2014 at 3:42 pm EDT
Excellent point!


Comment by: DC (Clearwater Florida) Sun., Oct. 13, 2013 at 1:06 pm EDT
"Come On, People: On the Path from Victims to Victors," - Bill Cosby
pretty much summarizes it.
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Comment by: Wiser (Hometown USA) Sat., Oct. 12, 2013 at 10:45 pm EDT
This article is so slanted. By reading this you would think that it's the governments fault for why a person has HIV. The USA didn't make you put drugs in your arm, or not teach you to read, or make you have sex. Ever hear of personal accountability? Ethe decline of the family, Bill Cosby put it pretty well, is the biggest problem. Black fathers missing from the picture, mothers spread too thin, grandma picking up the slack for immature children having children, church is non-existent or ineffective at reaching the spiritual needs of the family, relying on the government to fix all your problems and then getting mad at the government for not doing it. It's everybody's fault but yours. This sounds like a liberal democrat wrote this article, and this is listed on CNN, go figure.
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Comment by: jhenry69 (California City, CA) Sat., Sep. 28, 2013 at 4:31 pm EDT
Even though your article does mention STD's and education about them it fails to mention the most important aspect, irresponsibility of the individual. When 'Patient Zero' was narrowed down as the most like person to introduce HIV to the Gay Male population in San Francisco in the early 80's he was said to have up to 7 partners a WEEK, not month, but week. And those partners interviewed were themselves meeting with and having sex with between 4 and 5 different partners a week. Introduce a deadly STD into this sexual powder keg and you get the AIDS crisis of the 80's which has never really died down.
The American black population has an illegitimacy rate of over 70%, and the highest rates (according to the CDC) of teen mothers having multiple children with multiple fathers. In terms of irresponsibility there is very little difference between these stats and the life Patient Zero was living in in Frisco. Nearly 40 years into this modern plague there are no more excuses. No more blaming the govt. or homophobia or ignorance of 'safe sex'. One chooses to have sex, protected or otherwise.
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Comment by: david lacrue (Roanoke, VA) Fri., Sep. 27, 2013 at 9:12 am EDT
The breakdown of the black family is the cause of aids in our community. Eighty percent of our households are single parent. Our kids are raised watching our parent go in and out of multiple relationships and that coupled with the trash we call hip hop is ruining our future as a viable ethnic group. We are becoming a third world community within the richest country in the world.
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Comment by: Steve (San Jose, ca) Sun., Feb. 2, 2014 at 2:42 am EST
Well said......


Comment by: david lacrue (Roanoke, VA) Fri., Sep. 27, 2013 at 8:49 am EDT
The breakdown of the black family is the cause of aids in our community. Eighty percent of our households are single parent. Our kids are raised watching our parent go in and out of multiple relationships and that coupled with the trash we call hip hop is ruining our future as a viable ethnic group. We are becoming a third world community within the richest country in the world.
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Comment by: Jeff C. (Madison, NC) Thu., Sep. 26, 2013 at 4:20 pm EDT
This is a bit speculative, but I would blame IV drug use and sexual contact.
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Comment by: JERRY (Poughkeepsie, New York) Thu., Sep. 26, 2013 at 1:07 pm EDT
Indiscriminate sex is the problem, not who or why or when or how,
just as long as it's now. With immediacy, even if it comes down to
taking from someone, as long as the urge is satisfied.
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Comment by: Tambria (Honolulu hi) Fri., Aug. 30, 2013 at 4:19 pm EDT
I've been in and out of poverty most my life, I don't buy it, and yes have loss to aids also.....I see a lack of caring about sex partners, self gratification.....the me me syndrome ......I've been on this since aids hit the US hearing the same reasoning, maybe if we could of been honest in the beginning rates might be different...when is the song going to change, I have been so hungry living in poverty I was not thinking about sex...no energy
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Comment by: kimadams (michigan) Sun., Aug. 25, 2013 at 12:38 pm EDT
Ii am hiv and i need someone to talk to as a friend.
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Comment by: HardWorkingMomma (Atlanta, Ga.) Sun., Dec. 22, 2013 at 12:48 pm EST
Honey, Just talk to Jesus, just like he was sitting there with you. He is always there with open arms and he cares about you and he loves you. He died for you so that you could be free and have peace. He is there and he is waiting for you.
Comment by: Vernon (Albuquerque, NM) Mon., Jun. 30, 2014 at 1:01 am EDT
Forget religion, find someone in the flesh to talk to that can offer guidiance and peace.
Comment by: Jubileedoo (Kansas City, KS) Tue., Jul. 15, 2014 at 4:19 pm EDT
Your local free clinic is a great resource, not only for counseling, treatment & symptoms management, but also free condoms. Pick them up wherever you see them. Just because you're HIV+ does not mean you're going to stop having sex. Protect yourself AND others now ->this is YOUR responsibility. Also, your local LGBT center is a great resource. You don't have to be gay to visit with these people. Ask questions, seek answers. Good luck.


Comment by: Gary (Minnesota) Thu., Aug. 22, 2013 at 10:27 am EDT
This is all garbage. The truth is behavior is the main factor. Morals and ethics are the main factor. Doesn't matter if you are poor,impoverished. We all have choices to make. Live right or live wrong. Trouble is people choose the wrong. That is the cause. Everything else is residual.
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Comment by: Baffled in Tx (Dallas,Tx) Wed., Aug. 14, 2013 at 11:54 pm EDT
I'm so shocked by the ridiculousness of this article, I'm at a loss for words.

But almost as shocking and disappointing here, is the lack of simple grammar, spelling, etc, displayed in these comments. If this is a reflection of the education in our country, then why in the heII would one think that "better sex education" would be at all beneficial or relevant with a matter such as discussed here..........I'm utterly baffled. So disappointing. Wake up people. WE CAN'T EVEN SPEAK OR WRITE PROPERLY!!
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Comment by: Larry (ny, ny) Wed., Aug. 21, 2013 at 12:37 am EDT
my thoughts exactly
Comment by: Myles Helfand (TheBody.com) Mon., Aug. 26, 2013 at 10:27 pm EDT
Agreed. We've been awfully lenient about the comments we've allowed to appear below this slideshow; our hope was that approving some of those more questionable comments would encourage conversation among a wide range of people and, just maybe, help the people behind those more questionable comments see these issues in a more tolerant and understanding way.

It was probably naive of us to think that would happen, but I don't regret us having tried. I think we're done with that experiment, though. We'll be sweeping through the comments on this article and removing those that are racist or that serve no other purpose than to inflame, incite and spew vitriol.

Our apologies go out to anyone who was offended by these comments.


Comment by: Joe (America) Thu., Jul. 25, 2013 at 6:04 pm EDT
Perhaps the single most important reason was left out: Genetics. HIV attacks cells in way that is similar to the way the plague does. There are some people in the world who are naturally immune to HIV. One thing they all have in common is that they trace their ancestry to a place that was hit very hard by the black death in the Middle Ages. Presumably, they are descended from individuals who had random mutations to help survive the plague once infected; those without the mutation were more likely to die. Those mutations coincidentally help against HIV. Sub Sahara Africa had plenty of disease problems, but not the plague. Blacks on the other hand are far more likely to have sickle cell anemia, which is a genetic protection against malaria.

A natural immunity for most European peoples, even if far from perfect, can raise the level of virus necessary for an infection to take, resulting in a disparity in the required exposure and therefore infection rates.

Finding these protective genetic sequences and turning that knowledge into a vaccine or treatment is an area of active research.
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Comment by: Hansen Sat., Nov. 2, 2013 at 7:43 pm EDT
Where is your evidence for these statements?
Comment by: ATL Brian (Atlanta, GA) Sat., Jan. 25, 2014 at 10:03 pm EST
There is not only ZERO proof for this... it's a big fat lie. We've been searching for immunity for over 25 years in an effort to manufacture a vaccine. Guess what? We have failed because there appears to be NO immunity! The black plague has NOTHING to do with AIDS. PERIOD!


Comment by: Sean (phoenix) Thu., Jul. 18, 2013 at 9:27 pm EDT
What the heck is "survival sex?" How is it survival to continually have sex with men who don't stick around. These excuses, and that is what they are, are what are really dragging the black community down. Where are the likes of Jesse Jackson , Al Sharpton and Louis Farrakhan, on these issues? These three charlatans have done more in the last few decades to set black americans back than anything white men have reportedly done. They have convinced unwitting black people that they are victims and can do nothing for themselves. They do so for their own gain and to maintain power over black america.
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Comment by: Jubileedoo (Kansas City, KS) Tue., Jul. 15, 2014 at 4:27 pm EDT
Yeah, I asked myself the same question. What is "survival sex"? However, I disagree with your other statements. You need to remember that you're getting snapshots of these men from biased sources. You should read up on their histories -and not from popular media sources, which tend to paint people of color in unflattering lights because they dared go against the grain & fight for the rights of their people -especially against an oppressive white majority.


Comment by: Mide (Middlesbrough) Tue., Jul. 16, 2013 at 6:52 pm EDT
Av been diagnosed since 2010 and it broke my marriage also my hubby told d whole world abt my health issue life has been unfair to me I need some advice and someone to talk to
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Comment by: lucy (nashville, tn) Wed., Jul. 17, 2013 at 10:01 pm EDT
All I can tell u is its not the end of the world. Yes, it can be hard but life goes on. just adhere to yr meds regimen and be healthy and as for yr husband, I don't know, maybe he was not the right person for u in the first place. God bless.
Comment by: Jubileedoo (Kansas City, KS) Tue., Jul. 15, 2014 at 4:30 pm EDT
Just remember that like anyone else who's been diagnosed HIV+, you have not only a responsibility to look after your own health, but also the health of others you may come in contact with on a sexual basis. Use condoms! You're not alone in this, so remember to reach out to others, as much as you may need a hand from time to time. Good luck.


Comment by: Jack (Wisconsin) Fri., Jul. 12, 2013 at 6:47 pm EDT
I thought this was a satirical story at first. When will people stop blaming the "white man" or the "man" in general for all of their problems? Seriously, the USA gives you the tools you need to succeed, whether you take advantage of those is your prerogative. Do you know what's not happening in our black communities? RESPONSIBILITY!! Take responsibility for YOUR family, problems, SEXUAL HABITS!!
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Comment by: Jeff (Indianapolis) Wed., Jul. 10, 2013 at 1:43 pm EDT
None of the slides contain the truth, but ironically together the do expose the truth. Blaming others for your predicament in a country where the poorest are rich by world standards and possibly the only country where the poor are morbidly obese is the problem. Use your Obama phone to Google, it's not hard.
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Comment by: hello3anetwork (Hong Kong) Mon., Jun. 17, 2013 at 5:11 am EDT
Thanks for sharing!
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Comment by: john reeves (Washington ) Wed., Mar. 13, 2013 at 4:57 am EDT
People think aids is just a black persons disease but when you go to the hospitals you see all races of people. I've hered white people say white people don't get aids but ive seen lots of white people with HIV or aids. Yes it hit the black community hard but white people are not excempt from aids. I no a white man who infected a black women
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Comment by: Anonymous Mon., Jul. 15, 2013 at 10:05 pm EDT
you are so right.


Comment by: Fred J (New York) Sun., Dec. 16, 2012 at 11:29 am EST
"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" I doubt the policy makers wanted to "target" black women. That sounds like paranoia to me. I think its more like lets take steps to make sure we are not wasting the money we take from taxpayers to waste on people who are harming themselves with drugs. Most of the other "reasons" listed in this article go directly back to bad values, moms and dads not getting and staying married and raising their children with good values. More liberal-think: if we can just take more money from the people who play by the rules to spend on those that refuse to, we can fix the problem. It has not worked and it will never work. Godly parenting, Godly values work.
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Comment by: Eric (St. Louis, MO) Sun., Dec. 16, 2012 at 11:16 am EST
One point the author fails to mention is that a large number of the U.S. population with African ancestry does not have the genetic diversity that people with European ancestry have. In fact, I have seen studies showing that people with African ancestry are genetically more susceptible to HIV. This seems like a pretty big point to miss.
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Comment by: Jubileedoo (Kansas City, KS) Tue., Jul. 15, 2014 at 4:41 pm EDT
Yours is a dangerous attitude. I don't know of anyone of any race who has come in contact with this virus & not become infected. Not one. Way back when this virus first hit, it wiped out a huge swath of the gay male population from coast to coast in America & in a relatively short period of time, too. Because it wasn't discovered very quickly that it was spread by blood, many hemophiliacs contracted it & began dying quickly as well. Then those who received transfusions, and other blood products (clotting factors, for example). At the same time, those who used intravenous drugs & shared needles were heavily affected. By the late 1980s & early 1990s, when the first anti-viral drugs were being administered, we had a lot of young gay men who thought, "Ah, a cure (of sorts) -now we can play around again!" and where we had seen a leveling-off & even a decrease in the number of new infections, it was short-lived. No one is immune. There may be factors which delay the onset of symptoms, so even though a person tests positive they remain asymptomatic for what seems like a longer period of time...eventually symptoms will appear.

Your best chance of remaining HIV-negative? Practice safe sex. This can't be stressed enough. Poverty isn't the single most significant cause of AIDS in the black community. It's ignorance & refusal to practice safe sex.
Comment by: PleaseDontYammer (Syracuse NY) Wed., Sep. 3, 2014 at 1:49 pm EDT
Jubileedoo is demonstrating the most dangerous attitude, which is to pretend that personal experience can substitute for scientific study. In fact, while Eric stumbled a bit in his expression of the science, Jubileedoo made a seriously false statement. Individuals who carry a double mutation for the gene ccr5 (two copies of the "Delta32 mutation" are almost completely invulnerable to infection by the most common strains of AIDS. This mutation was first detected in a group of "serodiscordant" long-term same-sex partners--that is, where during many years of an ongoing sexual relationship, one of the partners was HIV+ while the other remained HIV-. The science and the statistics among millions of people investigated to date are clear, despite Jubileedoo's benighted statements about his small circle of acquaintances. This particular genetic factor makes a huge difference in susceptibility to HIV infection. And it (the gene conferring protection from HIV infection) is about 10 times more common among people descended exclusively from recent (past 1000 years) Northern Europe natives, than among people descended exclusively from recent African natives. Personal responsibility is still the best way to affect one's own individual risk, but as for large racial populations, there is an undeniable genetic component.


Comment by: Raffer J. (Tampa FL) Wed., Nov. 28, 2012 at 9:20 am EST
I think part of the problem is the lack of Dads in our families, making sons emulate Hip Hop heros who have throngs of beautiful women at their feet, instead of good steady husbands who love and nuture their children. I can count on one hand the number of my friends who are actually married to a decent man who is a good father. How can boys learn about good love/sex when our subculture is toxic and demeaning to marriage? I swear, keeping kids on the straight and narrow is just about impossible. I think the President needs to talk about this deadly trend in Black America, only he has the clout to take this on.
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Comment by: Eric (St. Louis, MO) Sun., Dec. 16, 2012 at 11:12 am EST
I couldn't agree more. I think our country has lost its morals, and it is affecting children of all cultural backgrounds. I just hope people realize and try to address the problem before it's too late.
Comment by: Louis (Oklahoma City) Thu., Dec. 27, 2012 at 8:54 pm EST
The truth1 Yes, it is not a lack of testing or a lack of condoms or sex education. It is behavioral based. When people wait till marriage and then remain monogamous in marriage, it works. We are lyibng to ourselves when we blame everything but being sexually active for the spread of STDs. Only sex can spread STDs and testing cannot prevent STDs, neither can sex ed or money or incarceration or any of the other things brought up. Real people are really dying and a propaganda piece has the nerve to blame everything (and everyone else) for STDs, but refuses to mention that sex causes the spread of STDs?

Obviously everyone is not "doing it" or the rate would be the same among all populations. Morality is the answer to this matter of life and death. Not condoms and testing.


Comment by: Kiva Karmen (Birmingham, AL) Thu., Nov. 22, 2012 at 10:04 am EST
As I looked at all the "possible causes" of HIV/AIDS in Black America as well as most of the comments of the readers, I have to truly say none of the reasons provided really validate the spread. If you are "poor" you can get assistance from the gov't...IF YOU APPLY, and most of the people in the "povery line" wear the freshest gear and eat like royalty. The excuse of lack of education I will definitely not buy. Why, because someone's tax dollars is always paying for libraries, clinics, medical school dental/medical clinics. Not to mention that word of mouth travels fast and someone always has access to televison or internet at some point in time. My point...you do not make excuses for that which you are committed. Fear is definitely an obstacle to overcome but no one can keep you ignorant UNLESS YOU ALLOW IT. Yes innocent spouses can become victims and yes,those who work in the health professions,especially research, can get innocently get expose by a 1 in a million chance, but for rest...the issue is a matter of CHOICE AND MORALS. Everyone has an Achilles emotionally and/or physically but the question is: Are you going to allow your Achilles to draw you away by your own LUSTS?
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Comment by: Beaman (Phila.,Penna) Mon., Dec. 17, 2012 at 7:20 am EST
Thank You Kiva Karmen for emphasizing the importance of CHOICE as the most important factor for either AVOIDING or BECOMING A VICTIM of the HIV infection. Almost everyone can choose to avoid behavior that is risky.


Comment by: Tim (CT) Wed., Nov. 21, 2012 at 11:29 am EST
HIV/AIDS has become as close to a voluntary disease as is possible. While transfusions and childbirth can pass the disease, it seems like sex and sharing needles are the main ways this gets passed around. So, how about just stop having sex and using IV drugs? There you go, no more AIDS.
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Comment by: Jubileedoo (Kansas City, KS) Tue., Jul. 15, 2014 at 4:46 pm EDT
Well, it's a good start anyway. Behavior-modification. The gay community certainly had to go thru it, no one else, no other community is immune from behavior-modification.


Comment by: Mike (Canada) Wed., Nov. 21, 2012 at 10:42 am EST
All oustide factors & rationalizations and no self-responsibility & behavior modification. All victimization. No empowerment.
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Comment by: Sophelia J (Atlanta, GA) Tue., Nov. 20, 2012 at 1:19 pm EST
Where is lack of family? Where is lack of morality? Where is "lack of a father in the house"? Where is the disintegration of the family? Family values?

Let's talk about the true symptoms of the problem. Not just the sickness ....
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Comment by: Jubileedoo (Kansas City, KS) Tue., Jul. 15, 2014 at 4:54 pm EDT
What came first -the behaviors, or the virus? So one didn't beget the other. They were, for a time, mutually exclusive. So, being now in the crosshairs of this virus, in order to stem the tide of new infections & the impact this virus is having on the black community, they must decide for themselves how to proceed. Behavior-modification is key. Some of you may say, "This was unleashed on the black community!" No, it wasn't. It was initially unleashed on the gay community, hemophiliacs, those who received blood transfusions, and intravenous drug users. It was only a matter of time before it showed up in the general population. So stop looking for excuses to continue behaving the same way. It won't work. Behavior-modification is key. Whether you are HIV-neg or positive, it is YOUR responsibility to behave....responsibly. The repercussions of ignorance are quite possibly infection with a virus for which there is STILL no known cure. Only drugs to manage symptoms. Ask yourself is one lapse worth the rest of your life?


Comment by: rodrigo g. (PA) Mon., Nov. 12, 2012 at 1:40 pm EST
PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY! This author blames everything and everyone but the people who bring this upon themselves. Here are some other reasons for aids: 1. lack of self-discipline 2. lack of self-worth 3. lack of common sense 4. lack of dignity 5. giving themselves to their unrestrained passions and lusts 6. lack of values to live by 7. lack of self-education 8. laziness. No other country affords their citizens the ability to make something of themselves like America and this author still blames it. Sad.
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Comment by: Tom (Midland, Texas) Fri., Nov. 16, 2012 at 11:30 am EST
I agree Rodrigo. After 30 years of study, prevention, awareness... and no change of behaviour, it is hard to even care.
Comment by: Martha (Richmond, VA) Tue., Jan. 29, 2013 at 3:36 pm EST
I agree Personal resposibility is where it starts. I was brought up in poverty but I refused to be an adult in poverty so I took advantage of the Government programs and furthered my education. In America anything is possible if you put forth the effort.


Comment by: Steve (Las Vegas) Tue., Oct. 23, 2012 at 2:06 pm EDT
Simple Answer to the lead question.

There is a new, hidden disease that isn't being revealed to the general public. It's called 'refusaltokeepyoJohnHenryinYoBaggyPantsitus'.

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Comment by: Claire Alexander (New Orleans, LA) Sat., Oct. 13, 2012 at 9:26 pm EDT
What a bunch of crap! Excuses, excuses, excuses and more excuses to excuse extremely bad behaviour and judgement. There is one overriding factor in the disparity between rates of infection in the black community and the white community. Years ago researchers found two genes that protect you from HIV infection. The problem is that these genes are primarily in people of European descent. Some people have both genes and some only have one gene but it does give those people an advantage over everyone else. The bad news is that people of African descent, unless mixed with white, do not have these genes. Take note, this puts the black community at heightened risk of contracting this disease. It means that black people should be extremely vigilant about unprotected sex, especially black women. There isn't a man alive that doesn't lie about sex. Make them all use a condom and don't trust any man to tell you the truth. If you don't believe me I suggest you go to Craigslist and read all the postings from those downlow and married men. It will open your eyes and maybe save your life.
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Comment by: Scott S. (San Diego) Fri., Nov. 9, 2012 at 9:35 pm EST
Hello Claire,
I whole heartedly agree with your premise about excuses, they're worthless. I cannot speak to the genetics aspect of your comment but would add that we are people of free will. We tend t do what we want because we WANT to. Everyone makes poor choices. Women definitely make them when they trust a man. I have never cheated on my wife, but I know far too many men who have, and sex seems to be forever on our minds.


Comment by: mike (Tulsa) Sat., Oct. 13, 2012 at 5:33 pm EDT
this is a problem that will eventually fix itself.....
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Comment by: Anonymous Wed., Mar. 20, 2013 at 12:43 pm EDT
i believe hiv being a virus,much like the common cold, with out proper medical treatment well never go away.


Comment by: Baby Glock (Heartland, USA ) Mon., Oct. 8, 2012 at 4:32 pm EDT
The "experts" don't get it, the commentators do.
Nowhere did I see a frank call for MORALITY in any of the "12 key elements" discussed.

Yet, generally, most of the comments at this time OVERWHELMINGLY REFERENCE A NEED FOR PERSONAL ACCOUTNABILITY; MORAL AGENCY; ADHERENCE TO UNIVERSAL STANDARDS OF "RIGHT vs WRONG", etc.

The "inmates are in charge of the Asylum." All those cushy jobs would be gone if HONOR AND DECENCY were discussed. After all, we dare not blame the guilty--they must retain their "victimhood" status at all cost.


The God of Our Fathers, worshipped yesterday throughout all America by every language, creed, race, and color, WEEPS AT HIS CHILDREN'S DISOBEDIENCE and the inevitable consequences of sin.
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Comment by: The Day is Coming (Gainesville FL) Fri., Oct. 12, 2012 at 1:15 pm EDT
You are soooooo Right! I too am discusted at the Victim mentality of this "race". You will continue to be downtrodden until you accept responcibility for your own actions and start policing the rest of "Black America" to get in line as well. Only then will you begin the climb. Even Obama still blames others for HIS mistakes. This is FACT!! You cannot call "racists" when the facts are all over the media.
Comment by: Dan Burress (Clarksville, Tenn) Sat., Oct. 13, 2012 at 2:36 pm EDT
Yes, and amen!Not all but a lot of the rap culture is destroying the minds of our young people with it's filthy language, crude speech and sexualy explict lyrics.The ideal of marriage and being faithful in that marriage is a precept that must make a comeback if any community, black or white is going to survive.I am the product of a broken home, and I know from first hand experience what happens to young people without a male and female role model to follow.When we shatter God's standard we cannot be happy long term ,it just is not possible


Comment by: Noneya Buziness (Somewhere, America) Tue., Oct. 2, 2012 at 11:37 am EDT
I haven't met a black man, save maybe one, who didn't talk about sex all the time. They wanted to bone everything that walked, talked or ate corn stalks. One guy springs to mind. He wanted to freeze time so he could "f$*k them all". Bringing up the fact that that would mean grannies and all, and the fact that it was impossible to do in the 40 years or so left in his life, he just said he wished he could have started earlier. His favorite saying was "Big, fat, skinny, small, I'd f&*k them all"... And he would, too, if given the chance. So I would say the prevalence in their culture for promiscuity is definitely the answer.
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Comment by: Samoyed (Wash DC) Sun., Sep. 30, 2012 at 3:53 am EDT
What a croc of blame and excuses! HIV is spread mainly by IV drug abuse and anal sex with multiple partners. To a lesser extent it is spread by vagina intercourse. This info must be said again and again to everyone. Delay sex. Always use protection. Have fewer partners. Never share needles. It has absolutely nothing to do with racism. It's behavior, which is the result of poor parenting. With 72% of black babies born to single mothers is it any surprise that poor behavior is more common in the black community? The Congressional Black Caucus keeps telling you that you are victims so they can get votes. You are victims of yourselves and your lack of personal responsibility. Stop blaming whites for your problems.
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Comment by: Rich (Garner, NC) Tue., Sep. 11, 2012 at 9:19 am EDT
Sorry, but I don't buy into most of this. The main reason for the continued spread of AIDS is a lack of person responsibility and the desire of an individual to do as they please without concern of the consequences. Deviant and/or irresponsible sexual behavior along with drug use is what perpetuates the spread of HIV. People who choose such lifestyles do so of their own free well. Information about HIV/AIDS is readily available and can also be found on the curriculum of most public schools. There's no excuse for anyone, black, white, or any other color to be ignorant of HIV and how it's spread. Blaming society, religion, government, etc. only serves as an excuse for an individual's poor choices and their lack of personal responsibility.
While I do have empathy for those who've contracted HIV/AIDS, unless it was through no fault of their own, such as a blood transfusion or from a cheating partner, they are solely responsible for their own situation.
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Comment by: Tom (Midland, TX) Thu., Oct. 4, 2012 at 6:02 pm EDT
I don't either. HIV/AIDS has been around for 30 years, the lack of awareness has been due to the lack of care and concern for education. Poor choices are poor choices, the information has been bombarding us for a least 20 years. Pull your heads out of your butt and listen, it is out there. Ignorance is curable, but stupidity is terminal.


Comment by: Andrew H. (Meridian, Mississippi) Tue., Sep. 11, 2012 at 8:52 am EDT
One problem that causes this as far as I can tell is advocates of HIV. No, not the people who wrote this article, but people who write horrible songs about treating women poorly and sodomy, saying that it's okay to fool around with every girl you date. Yes, it is true that some African American communities are oppressed, especially more so than others. Frankly, there are communities white and black that are oppressed. I think one thing that this article fails to recognize is that in some areas, there are a good number of black people on drugs in very impoverished areas. They claim white people do drugs more than black people. No, that's not bigotry speaking there. I am white, true, but nearly everytime I ever bought street drugs when I was using it was from a black dude. It's important that if anyone sees someone selling drugs to speak up to local law enforcement agencies because these drugs keep everyone down, and whether your white, black, chinese, whatever, if people are using drugs, especially ones you inject, it's more likely someone you know will end up with the disease. It's a good thing to tell on a drug dealer. Don't let them tell you it's a bad thing to be a snitch, and if the popo(police) is doing something wrong, snitch on the popo too.
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Comment by: Mapache Mon., Sep. 10, 2012 at 8:23 pm EDT
All this presentation is one excuse after another....HIV/AIDS is not about poverty...it is about undisciplined sexual behavior in a community where the men do not like to wear condoms and women are willing to accept it.
You want to reduce aids? Get married and both partners get checked before marriage and stay faithful. People do not have an uncontrollable need to try everyone else's body parts!
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Comment by: Tom (Midland, TX) Thu., Oct. 4, 2012 at 6:02 pm EDT
Bingo.


Comment by: Susan R (Allentown, PA) Mon., Sep. 10, 2012 at 2:03 pm EDT
HIV is spread through transfusions, using dirty syringes and unprotected sex. Blood donations are screened,so the chance for infections are slim. The other two routes remain.
The federal,state and local government cannot stop people from engaging in risky behavior. The fault of the behavior lies with the individual and can only be stopped by the individual.
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Comment by: Mavis (Minnesota) Wed., Sep. 12, 2012 at 1:47 am EDT
You are simply correct. It is that simple. If I choose to stick my finger in a live electric socket and electrocute myself or burn my hand, Can I blame the government? At some point in a person's life, they must accept responsibility for their own actions. Unprotected sex is like playing Russian Roulette.


Comment by: RScottW (Little Rock, AR) Mon., Sep. 3, 2012 at 10:43 pm EDT
Non-monogamous, non-marital sexual activity is missing from the list. All the other reasons may contribute, but this one factor deserves the majority of the attention. This is pandemic in the culture at large, and the black community in particular. If we solved the 12 issues identified but ignored this one, the problem would still remain. We can't keep pretending it's not a factor.
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Comment by: Francis J (San Antonio) Mon., Sep. 3, 2012 at 6:06 pm EDT
Same old tired excuses. Try this one-Personal choice and responsibility. Stop playing victim and blaming everyone else.

The resources are available and the opportunities are there. You always choose to do what you want to do.
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Comment by: SSgt C M Hackett (Putnam, Connecticut) Thu., Aug. 16, 2012 at 3:01 pm EDT
And the leading cause of the spread of AIDS? Immoral sexual conduct! Abstinence outside of marriage would put an end to all of it!
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Comment by: teapot (bk) Thu., Aug. 16, 2012 at 3:39 pm EDT
this comment is patently false. worldwide, the leading mode of HIV transmission is heterosexual contact. in many places in the world, marriage and monogamy are a key HIV risk factor for women. i'd wager that pious moralizing is more responsible for the spread of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS (AIDS is a diagnosis and cannot be transmitted), than anything a self-valuing, autonomous, consenting adult individual could possibly cook up in his or her dungeon.
Comment by: GB (FL USA) Mon., Sep. 3, 2012 at 6:57 pm EDT
In reply to teapot:

Your semantic acrobatics are the best confirmation that the OP is right.

You say hetero contact outside of marriage will spread HIV. No-brainer there. It's keeping it in the context of marriage that prevents STDs.

It's a red herring to say that monogamous married women are often at high risk for HIV. Obviously, the other spouses were not abstaining outside of marriage!

You can wish all you want that morals--good or bad--didn't have consequences. That doesn't change the facts.



Comment by: wachira B. (kenya, Africa) Wed., Aug. 8, 2012 at 6:27 am EDT
I think it because of anatomy make-up of an African woman. It is more susceptible to the virus than any race.How came that any country with more black african tends to have high hiv prevalence. Look at sub-sahara africa the prevalence in some area go as high as 30%,meaning that if nothing is done the population is going to be wiped out.To those optimistic people saying the cure is in the pipe line only need to look at the profit made by those pharmaceutical company.It is a total subotage.HIV is not a white man problen, so let us not expect much investment in its cure.Obama is racially African American but culturally a white man.Dont expect much from him in hiv prevention and treatment
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Comment by: Ellen (Phoenix) Wed., Nov. 14, 2012 at 5:18 am EST
I don't think that the anatomy of Black women is any different than White women. The fact is that couples in Africa often use anal sex as a form of bith control. This is the same reason why AIDS is so prevalent in homosexuals as the tissue in the anus is more easily ruptured by intercourse than is the tissue in the vagina. The anus was not designed to withstand the activity of intercourse so it is easily injured by this action thus facilitating the spread of disease.
Comment by: Katy (USA) Fri., Dec. 28, 2012 at 10:42 pm EST
Whitey's fault again. Nevermind the BILLIONS poured into Africa to fight AIDS by evil white republican George Bush. Although you're right that Obama won't lift a finger unless there's some advantage in it for him or democrats.


Comment by: Gayle (Indianapolis, IN) Thu., Aug. 2, 2012 at 11:22 am EDT
Why wasn't there a tab labeled promiscuity? Could it be because it puts the focus back on the individual and takes it off of society as a whole? Please! Take responsibility for your own actions. It can be so empowering!!!
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Comment by: Louis (OKC) Thu., Dec. 27, 2012 at 9:10 pm EST
Not only is it the only thing that would work, but abstinence and morality is free! Oh... No wonder that didn't make the article, how can you make an election issue out of something that costs nothing and can be done by the individual?


Comment by: Jim (West Virginia) Wed., Aug. 1, 2012 at 11:38 am EDT
Aids is still and always will be a behavior disease. Don't do the things that will expose you to HIV. Not like other diseases that you have no control over. Homosexuality, IV drug usuage, sharing needles are major factors that one gets involved in that will put you at risk for contacting and getting Aids. Low percentage of blood transfusions and needle sticks. You contol whether or not you get Aids. Quit blaming anyone but you and just wanting Society to pay for your lucid behavior. No one in this day and age does not know that Aids comes basically from sexual contact and that homosexual sex is the leading cause of Aids. Try to pass it off, any other way and you know that you are wrong.
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Comment by: bartleby Wed., Aug. 1, 2012 at 5:02 pm EDT
first of all, you don't contract AIDS, the immunodeficiency syndrome caused by HIV, the virus that you do contract.

and while homosexual rates are high, HIV is disproportionately affecting black women, mainly through heterosexual sex. not to mention children that may be born with HIV because of the lack of preventing mother-to-child transmission.

so while i agree with what i think your main point was (in that HIV is highly preventable), I don't think this was about blaming society. This is about the numerous factors that can drive the rates down -- one of the biggest being education. for many young folks, HIV is not discussed and they don't even know about it. better health care, more awareness and testing, less stigma and homophobia would help tremendously.


Comment by: Leah R (Cincinnati, Ohio) Sun., Jul. 29, 2012 at 6:06 am EDT
I think that lack of education is the reason behind all of the issues.
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Comment by: Mac (Dallas City, IL) Tue., Sep. 11, 2012 at 7:27 am EDT
Nice try...but your comment is rather silly. Education abounds in America. The fact that we choose to ignore what we know paints as fools and not victims...and we can't have that now, can we?
Comment by: Jack (Georgia) Thu., Dec. 26, 2013 at 10:42 pm EST
There is abundant education in this country, and while you can offer the material you cannot make them learn it. If you walk into any high school classroom, it may be math, English , history, or sexual education/health you will not see the classrooms of the 1950's with students all attentive. You will see the students sleeping, texting. So the excuse about education is false. Its just they Chose not to listen as it was being put forth.


Comment by: Mike (Grosse Pointe Park, MI) Sat., Jul. 28, 2012 at 4:26 pm EDT
Political blame shifting, stated with a beautiful smile, is sure to cure the problem. Let's see now: half of all black pregnancies end in abortion, murder rates high in black community, incarceration high in black community, AIDS disproportionate in black community. Dem policies have essentially caused black self annihilation. It's heart breaking.
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Comment by: m bowlus (jacksonville) Tue., Jul. 24, 2012 at 7:14 am EDT
There is no lack of infromation about the cause for the spread of this disease. There is no lack of available free education and prevention for its spread. There is a wilfull ignorance and failure of parents to take responsibilty for the education of their children. An identification with a narcisistic, nihilist culture based upon a lie that this seperate culture is equal is not helping. Values? Life over death, community over self, others first... critical thinking is always in short supply and the victims of this deficiency are quick to blame everyone and everything else. I have compassion for them, but cannot be made to feel guilty for not doing enough to save them from themselves. I have brought the trough to the horse, filled with clear clean water of the knowledge needed to survive this scourge... don't live like a victim. It's a matter of will. Got some?
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Comment by: treasure x (vallejo,ca sf.ca) Thu., Jul. 19, 2012 at 11:37 am EDT
Listen people, black white all. i am a HIV educator tester result giver phelbotomist you name it i've done it. i've never given one positive result to a black person period. stop saying that black people are highest rate in this catorgory. itz just not true. i've never seen any type of data to prove this. i've been to the white house on marches for hiv and birth control for the black commmunity hae looked at tons of literture n have never seen it. any won want to show my some proven data about the uprise in hiv in the black community lets talk.
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Comment by: Myles Helfand (TheBody.com) Fri., Jul. 20, 2012 at 1:54 pm EDT
I can't speak to HIV diagnoses in your area, Treasure, but in terms of the country as a whole, African Americans are *dramatically* more likely to be HIV positive. The literature is everywhere. Take, as just one example, these surveillance slides from the CDC -- slides 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 13 and 14 clearly show how black people are far and away more deeply impacted by HIV than any other racial/ethnic group in the U.S.

http://www.thebody.com/content/66517/hiv-surveillance-by-raceethnicity-through-2010.html
Comment by: Billieous (AZ) Sun., Nov. 25, 2012 at 3:38 am EST
In several large urban cores in the US the HIV + rate is over 20% in the 18 - 40 yr old group. These areas are 90+% black. They (the media - with its twisted rules) dont want to report this (which they really should!) because it is said to be "insensitive" to publicize statistics like this. So it goes.


Comment by: Jennifer Van Dyke Wed., Jul. 18, 2012 at 7:23 am EDT
Ms. Terrell's article may have been informative and effective, that is until she blamed Bush for spending too much on abstinance programs. Ms. Terrell, Bush appropraited more funding for the fight against AIDS than any other pres. in the history of our nation. That's it. Bottom line. George Bush saw the crisis for what is was and acted. Too bad your beloved Obama can't see the crisis in your own black community with regards to unemployment and then act in a concise way like Bush. Poverty being a major contributor to the growing AIDS population among African Americans in this country. The blame game will not help your cause: action and compassion are the key.
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Comment by: Caiha (Boston, MA) Sat., Jul. 21, 2012 at 3:09 am EDT
She included Clinton, if you'd care to read. This isn't partisan, and trying to make it partisan won't cause it to be.


Comment by: Kevin (Minneapolis, mn) Wed., Jul. 18, 2012 at 6:16 am EDT
HIV/AIDS is spread by a casual and lax attitude toward sex. It may be exasperated by ignorance but I don't believe that anyone in America has not heard of this disease. People are having sex out of their own sinful desire and they are not thinking of the ramifications. If you blame it on anything else, you are just kidding yourself. Being poor does not make someone dishonest nor does it make them immoral. There are rich people in America with HIV/AIDS. It is the sinful element in fallen mankind that is causing the spread of this disease and overcoming sin is the only thing that will stop it.
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Comment by: Pam c (san diego) Mon., Sep. 10, 2012 at 5:16 pm EDT
Amen Kevin! And all I can say is keep speaking the truth. For the wages of sin is death. Not my rule, but my Maker's. God Bless!


Comment by: N. Ul hamid (Faisalabad Pakistan) Sun., Apr. 22, 2012 at 8:57 am EDT
No one, of the commentators have given any importance to the moral , ethical, and theologic aspects of the issue of HIV. A society that allows all immorality, unfaithfulness, and sexual laxity will never be able to illuminate HIV. Fear of God and life hereafter inculcated restraints that make a man a human
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Comment by: Scott (LA) Mon., Mar. 5, 2012 at 3:42 pm EST
I think we have the highest statistics because we are tested more often than anyone else because of the stigma of HIV in the black community.
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Comment by: Queen (East Cleveland, OH) Fri., Mar. 30, 2012 at 2:57 pm EDT

I have to agree with you Scott, I am told a doctor my sexual history she thought I was lying. Every black is not diseased nor do we sleep around.
Comment by: repeating (missouri) Wed., Aug. 15, 2012 at 7:58 pm EDT
I have been around so many races in my life. The African American are the least promiscuous. The talk and polls alway put this group at the top of any list, yet ask around and see how many blacks have taken a poll. Good luck on finding many that has. The blacks will tell you anything you need to believe. While one is thinking one way, something totally different is happening.. The whites I have lived around all my life have sexual histories so so perverted. Do not believe all this so call information. Take care of yourself, and let others believe what they must.


Comment by: Gabrielle (Long Island, NY) Fri., Mar. 2, 2012 at 3:10 pm EST
It was mentioned that a greater % of people of color are incarcerated. I think we all know people are having sex, wanted or unwanted, while there. Maybe everyone should be tested before they are released so if they are positive they won't pass it on to their loved ones, etc. Or are those in charge not willing to admit the reality of the situation?
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Comment by: anonymous Fri., Aug. 17, 2012 at 5:50 pm EDT
I agree, not only that, but something should really be done to prevent prison rape. It is not part of anyone's punishment, and its continued allowance only makes things worse. I don't see how we can truly call ourselves a civilized country as long as it is allowed to continue
Comment by: Barbara (Missouri) Tue., Jan. 29, 2013 at 3:19 pm EST
Having worked in a prison, I can tell you, we are not allowed to test without prisoners request...and when we do test, no one in the prison is allowed to know, except the Dr. who reads the test-and he doesn't work for the prison.
Comment by: judy (rothbury, mi) Sun., Jul. 21, 2013 at 3:15 pm EDT
In Mi. all prisoners are tested for HIV and Hep. C. before they are released.


Comment by: Carolyn M. (Baltimore / Washington, DC) Thu., Mar. 1, 2012 at 6:38 pm EST
This article hits the nail on the head. Allow me to add that our approach to a "Black Solution" does not do justice to the fact that we are one people with a myriad of issues, self-perceptions, and perspectives. As we are learning in the public health community, one approach does not fit, not should it fit, all. This epidemic is forcing us, ever so slowly, to come face-to-face with that fact that we are individuals and worthy of individual attention.

Another interesting byproduct of the disparities is that we may come to realize that our own lack of organization keeps us out of position to impact a greater outcome in our communities. There is a corner coming, are we prepared to turn?
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Comment by: Phronie (Washington, DC) Sun., Feb. 26, 2012 at 8:47 am EST
For me it's all about personal responsibility. I must know that I am worthy to be protected and have the knowledge and skill to practice safer sex and the other things necessary not put myself at risk for HIV. In addition, I believe it is also my responsibility to teach others.
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Comment by: Enock N. (Lusaka - Zambia, Africa) Sat., Feb. 11, 2012 at 4:36 am EST
I wonder why HIV/AIDS is taking that dimension in the USA where it is even given colour - either affecting black American or white Americans. HIV/AIDS should be approached at national and international prevention, treatment and care and possibly cure. Why do black Americans get the blame on this and that and why attach colour to the fight against HIV/AIDS?
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Comment by: Max Smith (Chicago) Wed., Feb. 22, 2012 at 4:21 pm EST
America's history of the most extreme chattel slavery and 100 years of racial oppression 1865 until 45 years ago make everything in the USA have a racial/color component, including HIV/AIDS. The Puritan/Victorian fear to discuss sex rationally here perpetuates this epidemic.
Comment by: Anonymous Fri., Mar. 2, 2012 at 7:07 am EST
Colour is not necessarily, the point here but it is the facts on the ground that suggest. We shld not worry mainly on why the blacks account for more. Rather let's look at why the whites are doing better & try to mimic that. Unless if the black race is biologicaly more susceptible to the virus
Comment by: Queen (East Cleveland, OH) Fri., Mar. 30, 2012 at 2:58 pm EDT


I have to agree with Max Smith, fear of discussion is what spreading it, regardless of skin colour!


Comment by: Trish Steen (Kansas City, MO) Thu., Feb. 9, 2012 at 3:48 pm EST
Although I realize that HIV has become huge in the Black community, I can't help but see that we are repeating history once again. Back in the 1980's, HIV was targeted to white gay men, and that line of thinking kept other demographics of people to feel that HIV is not their problem. Today, we are now putting all the focus on people of color, thereby leaving out other segments of society. When the hell are we going to start treating this virus for what it is? HIV, the first letter in those three letters stands for nothing other than "HUMAN." I'm sorry, but why do we continue to do the same thing over & over again, after 30 years, we continue to leave out certain communities. HIV is not going away, it is everywhere, every society, every community. Open your eyes people and stop marginalizing people. Truly a disservice to all human beings. Just sayin...
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Comment by: Dee (Danville, VA) Tue., Feb. 14, 2012 at 10:26 pm EST
I couldn't agree more! This horrible disease is everywhere and I don't understand why the media always says that there are higher cases of HIV in the Black community than an other ethnic group (which I know it's bad in the Black community, but it's bad in every community as well whether a person is gay, straight, or bisexual). I'm with you, I hope people do stop marginalizing others when it comes to this because at this rate, we'll be taking 2 steps back instead of forward!


Comment by: Tyson Holly (TX) Thu., Feb. 9, 2012 at 3:31 pm EST
As an ER doctor of adults, teenagers and children, I was disappointed in this article. The main thing I've seen across ALL races and religions contributing to the high amount of STDs, including HIV, and unwanted pregnancy is the lack of a family support structure. I won't pretend I'm smart enough to solve this problem, but the alarming lack of surprise and/or discipline(and usually response of indifference)I get from parents of infected or pregnant teenagers is beyond sad and upsetting. Why should they care or know better if their parents don't?!
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Comment by: T. E. D. (Philadelphia, PA) Thu., Feb. 9, 2012 at 6:09 pm EST
Your exactly right, Americans, not any special group is responsible for HIV/AIDS. The last part of your comment is VERY CORRECT. We need to bring back "old fashion up bringings" Teach our children "Morals" and "right and wrong". Parents dont take responsibility for their children any more and the Law System protects them and children have been given too many rights to quickly. Heres a thought i keep hearing it all the time. You have to have a linc to have apet, but any fool can have children, be responsible and raise your damn children right. Stop blaming special groups, individuals, minorities, gays, lesibians, etc. Take responsibility for what is yours and who you bring into this world. And as a ER Doctor, you should always care...no matter how unresponsible parents and community support is. Its your oath to do so. As mine was in the service for 25 yrs and i protected your right to make such a statment, and I did it while i was infected with HIV also. So everyone needs to do their part...help out and remember to care. Listen you have two ears and one mouth, lend a helping ear and help these kids out. Thank you and GOD Bless


Comment by: Mike H. (Pittsburgh, PA) Thu., Feb. 9, 2012 at 2:11 pm EST
All of these play a role. We had a discussion at our advocacy meeting last night. If we are to reduce community viral load as part of our National HIV Stategy then we must divert dollars to public assistance programs to spread the word about HIV free care services available to everyone and then lobby and ensure that our legislators continue to support Ryan White funding to support all aspects of care and prevention.
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Comment by: Louis (Dallas,TX) Wed., Feb. 8, 2012 at 4:33 pm EST
Fear! Black people who have H.I.V. are so afraid to share with others about things. Religion pays a large part in the Black Community. Stigma of educating our younger kids about sex,especially unprotected sex. The younger blacks think it's only a gay disease.And this is from talking with the younger generation.
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Comment by: GloWorm (New Jersey) Wed., Feb. 8, 2012 at 8:11 am EST
I am appalled that as I flip through the slide show I did not see the bold headline Not Using Protection. Not all people who are HIV+ are poor, uneducated, IV drug users, have been incarcerated, etc. A large number of people are simply having unprotected sex - period - and with multiple partners.
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Comment by: Chanica (Detroit, Michigan) Wed., Feb. 8, 2012 at 12:47 pm EST
I truly agree with you on your comment..How can we protect ourselves when the focus is just on the high risk groups?... HIV is everywhere and it does discriminate
Comment by: Kellee Terrell (New York, NY) Wed., Feb. 8, 2012 at 1:39 pm EST
While there is no slide for "Lack of condom use", throughout this piece, there are plenty of slides where we mention people not using condoms and the barriers to using condoms and how that factors into HIV transmission, i.e., lack of sex education, mass incarceration, lack of health care, etc.

Obviously condom use (or the lack thereof) explains a large part of this AIDS pandemic. But we want to be clear, that past studies show that African Americans not only get tested for HIV more often, but use condoms more often and report fewer risk factors than their White counterparts.

So just having sex with multiple partners and not using condoms, doesn't fully explain why African Americans are disproportionately impacted by this disease. Because every one of all races and genders has unprotected sex—this is not specific to Black people.

So the question remains what is happening systematically that allows for HIV to flourish in this particular community. Why are African Americans more likely to come into contact with HIV more often than their White counterparts?

Yes, we all have to protect ourselves and be smarter about the sex that we are having, but why do African Americans have to wear condoms twice as much as everyone else in order to protect themselves from this one disease? Why do African Americans have to bear this particular burden?

The slideshow's goal was the answer those questions and that's exactly what it did.
Comment by: Aubrey (Chicago) Wed., Feb. 15, 2012 at 3:11 am EST
I'm with you, Glo. Regardless of what's being reported, many African Americans aren't protecting themselves on a consistent basis and have multiple sex partners. Prevention is key.
The younger generation doesn't take HIV seriously like in the 80s. Having HIV has even been glamorized in some media outlets to remove stigma and make positive people feel better about themselves, but the messages are misleading. Where are the horror stories that will certainly apply to the poor and downtrodden?
Comment by: Caiha (Boston, MA) Sat., Jul. 21, 2012 at 3:16 am EDT
Perhaps try reading the column next time, and you'll find it's mentioned quite frequently.
Comment by: Kate (Florida) Sun., Jul. 22, 2012 at 9:09 am EDT
I agree; and it kills me when aids is referred to as an "epidemic.". Like obesity, it is 100% preventable! Hundreds of thousands of dollars are spent in education alone, so I don't believe that anyone attending a public school in America is unaware of how to prevent HIV. People need to stop placing blame elsewhere and take responsibility for their own careless actions.
Comment by: jhonson (usa) Fri., Jul. 11, 2014 at 2:56 pm EDT
i keep seeing the mention of why does it effect black people more than whites. stop looking at this at a race and start looking at it in a hole. people like you are the reason we will never be able to stand up and say look at what i did. instead it is look what happening to us. u want people to stop being racist to us, then stop deviding us into groups. yes as blacks we do have it more promenant chance of getting aids. well if i ever get aid i will stand up and say i have aids. i wont go around to people i want to tell and say we have aids. i got a college education not we got college education. so spend time and money on cures and teaching the younger gen. best ways to prevent it. stop worring about who has more aids us or whitie.


Comment by: Duquesne (Madison, WI) Tue., Feb. 7, 2012 at 10:08 pm EST
The one thing missing from all the "reasons" cited above is the total lack of personal responsibility. Living a life that is dedicated to a long string of meaningless sexual affairs is probably the biggest single reason for the rise of sexual diseases in the black community. Instead we see the same old blame game examples trotted out so that nobody has to admit the OBVIOUS truth. Until we regain our morals and stick to monogamous relationships we will see this trend continue. It's time to put being a "Playa" into perspective because it is literally killing us.
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Comment by: Susan R (Allentown, PA) Mon., Sep. 10, 2012 at 2:06 pm EDT
Ever notice the Aids epidemic arrived during the sexual revolution where God's morals about sexual behavior were throw away?
Comment by: Jack (Wisconsin) Fri., Jul. 12, 2013 at 6:49 pm EDT
Thank you!!!


Comment by: Steven (Fremont, CA) Tue., Feb. 7, 2012 at 4:10 pm EST
HIV pos for over 25 years..I have heard such horrible reasons as to the whys of black and hiv infections. Thank you for doing the work and really helping people understand what is true.
Possibly now it will be easier to come up with more effective ways to help.
I work in the condom industry and we are always tryng to find ways to help where help is needed not just wanted. The information above will help me be more clear about our guidelines for donations. Thank you so much!
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Comment by: treasure x (vallejo,ca sf,ca) Thu., Jul. 19, 2012 at 11:47 am EDT
ok you have the disease then what caused you to contract the disease?. was it because you are black or poor or egnorance no it happens because we are just like anyone else sometimes we have sex without protection. it was 25yrs ago for you right. they say when you know better you do better and that dont make every black person story the same.


Comment by: sidneyselt (Washington, DC USA) Tue., Feb. 7, 2012 at 12:29 pm EST
Excellent commentary and until we change the atmosphere and attitudes of black churches, the issues of sex and sexual orientation will hide the truths behind our infection rates. Thankfully, in DC it was found that providing community based health care was far cheaper than letting the poor use emergency rooms as their primary source for health care, the situation reversed itself and became far better for blacks and latinos in DC. If black and latinos remain complacent in their own solutions, people will continue to infect each other...we cannot play victim over every single thing...and sorry blacks allowed black leaders of the past to get them into that mindset anyway. We are not powerless unless we give up our power in the first place.
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Comment by: Jay Gee (Nigeria) Fri., Jun. 29, 2012 at 4:44 am EDT
I agree. Rather than play the victim the blacks should find solution. They should be seen to be responding to whatever they think is driving the infection among the blacks. Yes it can be done.


Comment by: Al Cunningham (Newark, NJ) Tue., Feb. 7, 2012 at 11:58 am EST
Abandonment of primary HIV prevention by the Federal government; politically-driven rejection of appropriate messages and images in the face of media hyper-sexualization without consequences; and lack of culturally proficient mass communication and social marketing approaches that would personalize risk and promote harm reduction.
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Comment by: Che Gossett Mon., Feb. 6, 2012 at 4:57 pm EST
This is a great way to highlight HIV prevention justice, I'd add transphobia and the criminalization of HIV and sex work as social drivers as well. The racialized and militarized "war on drugs" has also fueled the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
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