African Americans Should Take More Responsibility in Fight Against HIV/AIDS, National Conference Speakers Say
March 2, 2005
African Americans should stop "pointing fingers and assigning blame" and take more responsibility in the fight against HIV/AIDS, speakers at the 2005 National Conference on African Americans and AIDS in Philadelphia said on Tuesday, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. "In 2005, AIDS in America is mostly a black disease," Phill Wilson, executive director of the Black AIDS Institute, said, adding, "Rather than play the blame and shame game, ... we must support every segment of our community." Conference speakers also discussed the belief among some in the African-American community that the HIV/AIDS epidemic is part of a government conspiracy, an idea that might cause some people to ignore prevention messages and avoid HIV testing, according to the Inquirer (FitzGerald, Philadelphia Inquirer, 3/2). According to a telephone survey conducted by RAND Corporation and Oregon State University that was published in the Feb. 1 issue of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, a significant proportion of African Americans believe that U.S. government scientists created HIV to eradicate or control African-American communities. Nearly half of respondents said they believe that HIV is manmade, with approximately 12% saying they believe HIV was created and spread by the CIA, according to the study (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 1/25). Debra Fraser-Howze, president of the National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS, said, "[I]f you do nothing, if you don't protect yourself, it's suicide." According to statistics presented at the conference, about half of newly reported AIDS cases in the United States are among African Americans.
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Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, search the archives, or sign up for email delivery at www.kaisernetwork.org/dailyreports/hiv. The Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of the Kaiser Family Foundation, by The Advisory Board Company. © 2004 by The Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.
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