HIV Crisis in Detroit, Mich.: The Sobering Numbers
April 18, 2012
State data confirm what advocates are seeing -- HIV has reached critical levels in Detroit. According to statistics from the Michigan Department of Community Health, nearly half of the city's ZIP codes have prevalence rates ranging from 3 percent to 5 percent, while three ZIP codes have reached 6 percent.
In Detroit, 43 percent of all HIV cases are linked to male-male sex. Black men account for 88 percent of all male cases, while black women account for 91 percent of all female cases.
The city must recognize HIV/AIDS "as an epidemic that Detroit needs to address uniquely to this region," said Curtis Lipscomb, executive director of the African-American LGBT group KICK. "The numbers aren't shocking. What's shocking is the lack of response from the black community about those numbers."
The executive director of the Ruth Ellis Center, which serves more than 4,000 of the city's LGBT homeless youth, said "nearly 40 percent" of those who utilize its drop-in services self-identify as HIV-positive. "I always talk about our youth being at the intersections ... of race, gender, sexuality, and poverty -- all of which can increase the chances you become HIV-positive," said Laura Hughes.
Detroit City Council President Charles Pugh has called the situation a "crisis," and progressive activist Van Jones has warned, "If it gets worse, they could send in blue helmets from international relief sources."
Between the Lines (Livonia)
03.15.2012; Todd Heywood, American Independent News Network
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
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