Saturday, September 15, 2007

Doing a Cornelius 360...part 2.0

Take a Love one to the Doctor Day: September18,2007

Of all racial and ethnic groups in the United States, HIV and AIDS have hit African Americans the hardest. Bearing this in mind, I wanted to challenge you readers about Take a Love one to the Doctor Day, 9.18.07. It's not just about HIV testing but all methods of supporting a healthy lifestyle. I realize that many don't have access to qualified insurance but there are low cost/ no cost clinics available to help. Also, as the city prepares to commemerate the 50th Anniversary of Central High School and race relations in general, there has been very liitle interjected about the continuing rage of HIV/ AIDS in the south. Some would say, "what's the intersection of intergration and disease, well the the reasons are not directly related to race or ethnicity, but rather to some of the barriers faced by many African Americans. These barriers can include poverty (being poor), sexually transmitted diseases, and stigma (negative attitudes, beliefs, and actions directed at people living with HIV/AIDS or directed at people who do things that might put them at risk for HIV). The barrier of intergration may have been lifted but the educational outreach still prevails. Meanwhile, the statewide Black community has been begrudingly slow in dealing with this health dilemma accross the board, especially among Black churches. Hopefully the newly created HIV/AIDS Minority Task Force will be instrumental in giving more momentum to this multi-faceted problem. Personally, I've seen mixed responses ranging from guarded acceptance to complete denial of the facts.
Moreover, when we look at HIV/AIDS by race and ethnicity, we see that African Americans have
more illness. Even though blacks (including African Americans) account for about 13% of the US population, they account for about half (49%) of the people who get HIV and AIDS. Then we have these eye opening facts...
1. Shorter survival times. Blacks with AIDS often don’t live as long as people of other races and ethnic groups with AIDS. This is due to the barriers mentioned above.
2.More deaths. For African Americans and other blacks, HIV/AIDS is a leading cause of death.
As the pie chart (pictured above/ right) shows, in 2005, about half (49%) of the people diagnosed with HIV/AIDS were black (according to information from 33 states). Children are included in these data.

The reality is similar for children: HIV/AIDS affects black children the most. In 2005, 104 (63%) of the 166 children under the age of 13 diagnosed with HIV/AIDS in 33 states were black.
As the pie charts below show, (left) blacks account for about half of all people living with HIV/AIDS within each sex category. According to information from 33 states, during 2005,
among men, 41% of men living with HIV/AIDS were black
among women, 64% of women living with HIV/AIDS were black.

For black men, the most common ways of getting HIV are (in order) :
*having unprotected sex with another man who has HIV
*sharing injection drug works (like needles or syringes) with someone who has HIV
*having unprotected sex with a woman who has HIV
For black women, the most common ways of getting HIV are (in order):
*having unprotected sex with a man who has HIV
*sharing injection drug works (like needles or syringes) with someone who has HIV
Blacks at higher risk for HIV are those
who are unaware of their partner's risk factors
with other STDs (which affect more blacks than any other racial or ethnic group)
who live in poverty (which is about one quarter [25%] of all blacks). This item was prepared with the assistance of resource material from the CDC and Black America Web.
For more info:
Many Men, Many Voices : 501.663-7166 Ext.105

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