What Really Fuels the HIV/AIDS Epidemic in Black America?
February 6, 2012
For the past 15 years, we have been bombarded with images and media attention that have blamed the "down-low brotha" -- the closeted gay man who sleeps with both men and women -- for the HIV epidemic in black America. Meanwhile, numerous studies have debunked those claims. Yes, there are closeted gay black men, but the reality is that so much more is at play when it comes to why African Americans account for only 14 percent of the U.S. population but make up almost half of all newly diagnosed HIV cases each year.
Take a look at what HIV advocates from across the country say is really worsening the epidemic in the African-American community.
Comment by: john reeves
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
Comment by: Fred J
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.
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.
Comment by: Raffer J.
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.
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
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
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?
Comment by: Beaman
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: Santa Claus
Thu., Nov. 22, 2012 at 6:44 am EST
Just blame it on whitey like everything else.
Comment by: SickofExcuses
Mon., Dec. 3, 2012 at 6:34 pm EST That's what I got out off all but one of the slides. It's whitey's fault wahhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!! Give us more damn stuff!!!!!! NOW!!!!
Comment by: Tim
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.
Comment by: Sophelia J
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 ....
Comment by: Eric
Wed., Nov. 14, 2012 at 8:47 pm EST
What idiot put this list together? Are you serious? do you realize how catastrophic your excuses are? This helps nothing. Everyone has sovereignty over his or her body. Only a darkend heart and debased mind would have the rationale provided in this list.
Comment by: rodrigo g.
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.
Comment by: Tom
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
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
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'.
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.
Comment by: Scott S.
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
Sat., Oct. 13, 2012 at 5:33 pm EDT
this is a problem that will eventually fix itself.....
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.
Comment by: The Day is Coming
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
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
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.
Comment by: Samoyed
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.
Comment by: Rich
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.
Comment by: Tom
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.
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.
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!
Comment by: Tom
Thu., Oct. 4, 2012 at 6:02 pm EDT Bingo.
Comment by: Susan R
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.
Comment by: Mavis
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.
Comment by: SSgt C M Hackett
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!
Comment by: teapot
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
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.
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
Comment by: Ellen
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
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
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!!!
Comment by: Louis
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
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.
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
Sun., Jul. 29, 2012 at 6:06 am EDT
I think that lack of education is the reason behind all of the issues.
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: 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.
Comment by: m bowlus
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?
Comment by: treasure x
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.
Comment by: Myles Helfand
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.
Comment by: Billieous
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.
Comment by: Caiha
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
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.
Comment by: Pam c
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
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
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
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?
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
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: 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?
Comment by: Phronie
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.
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?
Comment by: Max Smith
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...
Comment by: Dee
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
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?!
Comment by: T. E. D.
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.
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.
Comment by: Louis
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.
Comment by: GloWorm
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.
Comment by: Chanica
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 sexâ€”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
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
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
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: Duquesne
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.
Comment by: Susan R
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: Steven
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!
Comment by: treasure x
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.
Comment by: Jay Gee
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
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.
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.
(Please note: Your name and comment will be public, and may even show up in Internet search results. Be careful when providing personal information! Before adding your comment, please read TheBody.com's Comment Policy.)
The Body is a service of Remedy Health Media, LLC, 500 5th Avenue, 19th Floor, New York, NY 10110. The Body and its logos are trademarks of Remedy Health Media, LLC, and its subsidiaries, which owns the copyright of The Body's homepage, topic pages, page designs and HTML code. General Disclaimer: The Body is designed for educational purposes only and is not engaged in rendering medical advice or professional services. The information provided through The Body should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or a disease. It is not a substitute for professional care. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, consult your health care provider.