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Letter From the Editor

March 2003

Harlem -- from renaissance to riots, from culture to crime, as a neighborhood it has seen the highest highs and the lowest lows. That paradoxical quality has continued down to the present day, when Harlem is one of the areas hardest hit by HIV/AIDS in the United States, indeed in the developed world.

The resilience of Harlem even amidst its woes is the theme of this month's featured articles. First, writer Elizabeth DeVita was led on a "winter tour of Harlem" with psychiatrist Mindy Fullilove, who demonstrates how the "psychology of place" can affect health concerns including HIV/AIDS. Next, regular contributor Laura Engle introduces us to some very "SMART" and self-empowered women in East Harlem, then provides a listing of key resources and services available "up in Harlem."

We hope you find this month's tour interesting, and that you may be inspired to revisit this great neighborhood, home to a thriving African immigrant community, a former President, and much of the best of African-American history and culture. Just take the A train.

P.S. -- In our last issue, writer Frank Pizzoli chronicled the state of the New York City's finances at the close of 2002, and identified some of the trouble potentially looming on the horizon for HIV/AIDS services. Pizzoli reports that since then, Manhattan's non-profit Center for an Urban Future called NYC's $300 million annual AIDS services chronically understaffed, fragmented, and full of delays that threaten services and medications for patients. In the report, "Epidemic Neglect: How Weak Infrastructures and Lax Planning Hinder New York City's Response to AIDS," author Julie Hantman notes her conclusions are based on a six-month study of more than 60 HIV/AIDS service providers, consultants, public and private funders, and health experts. According to city Health Department data, there are 140,000 NYC residents infected with HIV, 48,000 of whom have been diagnosed with AIDS. About 2,000 New Yorkers die annually from AIDS.

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This article was provided by Body Positive. It is a part of the publication Body Positive.
 

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