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February 7, 2005 1:59 AM   Subscribe

National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness & Information Day February 7, 2005 Seventy-two African-Americans are infected with HIV every day African-Americans make up approximately 12 percent of the population of the United States, yet 38% percent of total AIDS cases reported in this country are among members of the Black community. In 2003, more African Americans were reported to have HIV/AIDS than any other racial/ethnic group.
posted by halekon (10 comments total)

 
Differenciate between HIV and AIDS. One is a disease, one is not.

Also, why even point out that more blacks have the diesease than any other ehtnic group? How is this relevant, apart from leading to a stronger perception of black people as being inherently diseased.
posted by markesh at 2:52 AM on February 7, 2005


Because that way, if you don't spend lots of money on charities devoted to HIV prevention and AIDS treatment, you're a racist.
posted by kafziel at 3:27 AM on February 7, 2005


markesh, the reason to bring it up seems to me to have to do with the idea of health education (as well as other education) in the U.S., and sociological concerns. As far as I know, race doesn't make any difference in terms of who is more likely to be infected with HIV, so a natural question arises.

This isn't fingerpointing at the African American community; this is saying "here is what is happening", and implying that government agencies are not going to be as concerned as they would be if it were white middle America that was showing up in these figures.
posted by taz at 5:26 AM on February 7, 2005


It's the system that is racist, not the statistics.
posted by lobstah at 5:50 AM on February 7, 2005


differentiate between HIV and AIDS. One is a disease, one is not.
Yes, there is a difference, but HIV and AIDS are inescapably linked. It's important that people with HIV receive treatment to delay the onset of AIDS.

Also, why even point out that more blacks have the disease than any other ethnic group?

Because awareness is the best way to halt infection. Full stop. Many studies have established that people will not use condoms unless they perceive HIV as a danger. There is still a dangerous perception that heterosexual sex is safe.

Because that way, if you don't spend lots of money on charities devoted to HIV prevention and AIDS treatment, you're a racist.

I'm not really sure what this means. The lack of health care affects many groups in U.S. society. I do think that the dearth of healthcare is racist, but it is also sexist, classist and many other things. If the rate of infection were high among straight white males making 40k+ a year, I think there would be better public health.
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 8:47 AM on February 7, 2005


By public health, I mean services that provide health care to the public.
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 8:51 AM on February 7, 2005


I don't mean this to be a snark by any means. Why is data like this broken down by race rather than socio-economic status and urban vs. rural? I am not saying the black community should not reach out like this, rather the broader social issue might be something other than racial one, and this just allows folks to justify their racist attitudes?

gesamtkunstwerk: are you saying that there would be more HIV/AIDS social programs provided by the government like some kind of trickle down theory? Is this the case for a disease like diabetes? (I honestly don't know) Most people making $40k+ a year have health care through their employment, like I do as a straight white male making more than $40k a year, (and over 40 I might add).
posted by Eekacat at 9:41 AM on February 7, 2005


Sorry if I sounded strident. This is a great FPP, and I hope that I haven't derailed it by crawling onto a soap box. Epidemiologists do not just look at race, they look at more factors that you can imagine-- socioeconomics, geography, educational level, access to insurance, medical history, etc.

This awareness day looks like community action, not like an epidemiologist's pet project. It isn't anything dirty, it's a sign that people are responding to a real threat in a positive way.

People do little combat AIDS because they think it's not their problem (oh, it's a gay thing/ African thing, etc) , or because they associate HIV a product of immorality and shame. National Black HIV/AIDS day is an exception to this rule. If more social, ethnic and political groups did this, HIV/AIDS would not be a threat. (I am erasing a long rant about how HIV is not like diabetes)
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 1:13 PM on February 7, 2005


(I am erasing a long rant about how HIV is not like diabetes)

I would like to have read that.
posted by thirteen at 2:00 PM on February 7, 2005


Thanks, thirteen. I'll ramble on some more. Unlike diabetes, HIV is one hundred per cent preventable, and highly communicable. Most importantly, most diabetics talk about their condition, and even wear bracelets to inform health professionals. Sadly, many people hide HIV, particularly to those close to them, putting lovers, nurses and doctors at increased risk. I think if we really knew how many of our acquaintances had HIV, we'd be more careful ourselves, with our children,etc.
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 4:31 PM on February 7, 2005


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