Aids in Black America: Fed Gov is not doing enough

Washington Post Full Article – In a 55-page report, the Black AIDS Institute argued that the disease should be viewed as a threat to the entire black population, and not just specific high-risk groups. Unlike in white Americans — and in the citizens of most industrialized nations — HIV in American blacks is increasingly transmitted heterosexually through “networks” where men especially have many sex partners at the same time, the report noted.

The report’s authors asserted that the black AIDS epidemic here is being overlooked as the United States is allocating unprecedented resources to fighting the disease in sub-Saharan Africa.

African Americans with HIV — at least 500,000 — are more numerous than in seven of the 15 “target countries” in the Bush administration’s global AIDS initiative, which has spent about $19 billion overseas in the past five years.  Bush is scheduled to sign a bill today that will extend the program and authorize the spending of $48 billion for the next five years. The target countries consist of 12 in Africa and three others: Guyana, Haiti and Vietnam.

The report noted that with 39 million people, “black America” would be the 35th most populous country, and the 28th richest, if it were a separate nation. Two percent of adult black Americans are infected, the government estimates, and only four countries outside Africa have a higher HIV prevalence. It would rank 16th in the world in the number of people living with HIV.

“The U.S. response to the epidemic in black America stands in sharp contrast to our response to the epidemic overseas,” said Phill Wilson, a longtime AIDS activist who is executive director of the Black AIDS Institute.

He added that his purpose in making the comparisons is not to criticize the global program but to urge that more money and attention be directed to the domestic one.

But Kevin A. Fenton, the head of HIV/AIDS prevention at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said the argument that government prevention efforts are not tailored to the black epidemic is mistaken. “CDC prevention efforts have really tried to follow the epidemic,” he said.

The proportion of AIDS-prevention funding devoted to the black community has risen as the epidemic has become more concentrated there and now constitutes about $300 million of the $600 million spent each year, Fenton said.

According to the CDC, 1 million to 1.2 million people in the United States are HIV-positive, although that estimate is now five years old. The CDC on Sunday will release more precise estimates of the HIV incidence, or the number of new infections that occur each year. It is believed to be about 50,000. The 2 percent HIV prevalence in adult African Americans exceeds the 1 percent threshold that defines a “generalized” epidemic, rather than one limited to certain subgroups. Two of the striking features of the epidemic in black Americans is the high rate of infection in women and the frequency of heterosexual transmission, both characteristic of Africa.

The CDC estimates that 38 percent of all new infections in African Americans from 2001 to 2005 were in women. Of new infections in black men and women, 46 percent were the result of heterosexual contact. In the District, about 40 percent of new infections are acquired heterosexually, 30 percent from male homosexual contact, and 15 percent from injected drug use.

Among white Americans during the same period, 16 percent of new infections were in women, and 16 percent of new infections in men and women were attributed to heterosexual transmission.

In sub-Saharan Africa, 60 percent of new infections occur in women, and the vast majority of all infections are acquired through heterosexual contact.


Filed under activism, african american, black, black men, black women, d.c., global, government, health, media, news, politics, society, washington dc, women

10 responses to “Aids in Black America: Fed Gov is not doing enough

  1. Of course the United States would not invest in Black America’s HIV epidemic. There’s money to be made in the destruction of a population they don’t want in the country anyway.

  2. Terence

    Jarrett, I co-sign with u 100%;wake up my people. Are we still that naive to the point that we`re still waiting on the benevolence of the descendants of our former slave masters to step in and come to our aid?

    Reality check, this country has never and will never give a damn about people of color; especially, us, black people. Katrina should have been the last straw for those who believe that YT loves us.

    We`re just like a puppy at his master`s feet begging to be loved. He continues to kick the puppy but somehow the puppy doesn`t grasp the hint. This country is for and all about white people and the framers of their constitution said as much if you study and understand the language.

    Afterall, they were slave owners themselves so there was no justice within them. Now that same injustice has been passed down to all generations succeeding them. In fact, if you truly understand the language of the constitution you`ll realize that we, blacks, are not truly “citizens” of this country.

    Therefore, their constitution does not guarantee us full protection under the law. The framers never intended for us to be made citizens for in doing so we would be entitled to the same justice as their descendants.

    So with their thought process if we`re not really citizens and not of their kind we are nothing more than a nuisance. So why should they give a damn if aids wipes out our population? If truth be told that`s what they`re banking on along with a series of other calamaties.

    Also, if you do your research you`ll realize that aids is a man made disease design just for that purpose. It`s a disease targeted against our genes as hard as that may be for some to believe. You see there`s no devil under the ground. He`s alive today in the flesh perpetrating death and destruction as he always has.

    It`s atrocities like this the reason why this country is coming down. As Thomas Jefferson said, “I fear for my country when I realize that God is just and that justice does not sleep forever”.

  3. Public Health is my field, and not having time to read the CDC report myself, I can only respond to the post…but if the CDC guy (Fenton) says 50% of federal funding for HIV is devoted to the African-American epidemic, how is that not helping? It would be hard to define “enough” and as the epidemic is spreading, certainly the millions of dollars spent isn’t doing enough, but it isn’t nothing.

    I can’t speak for other states, but in the State of Florida, ANYONE who tests positive for HIV will recieve the lastest medications FREE, for life. PERIOD. That is a direct result of federal grants.

    I agree that the US shouldn’t ignore the epidemic at home, but to not offer aid to Africa where there are countries with 20, 30 even 40% infection rates would condemn the continent to a future without adults to run it.

    If people continue to believe that HIV is a white conspiracy, HIV will never go away. It is in your hands to protect yourself. But you have to believe it exists. I’m white, I study HIV, I don’t want anyone else to die.

  4. Vicki

    What’s up with clinging on to slavery? Black people demanded the right to be considered equal and not be taken care of. For the most part (and we have a long way to go for true equality), we have made gains. HIV is not an environmental/genetic disease like cancer. You catch it from someone from who’s infected.
    What happened to personal responsibility? People who get infected in prison and then come out are passing it. People who use IV drugs are passing it. What’s wrong with people using condoms? What’s wrong with people abstaining from sex if you are not sure of your partners status. If a person is hurt about that, too bad…better to be hurt than dying.
    Blaming white people for our failure to keep ourselves safe is irresponsible. People are dying and blaming ‘massa’ for not protecting us is crazy.

  5. Terence

    Perhaps I was totally clear in my initial post. I agree that anyone who doesn`t protect themself with safe sex is a “fool” in every sense of the word. For too long we, as blacks, have been just that. But not only have we been fools about playing russian roulette with our lives when it comes to sex, but also a host of other issues.

    As for being paranoid about aids being a man made disease I submit to you to do the research; don`t take my word for it. You think it`s farfetched, well are you familiar with the “Tuskegee Experiment”?

    One becomes infected first through vaccines and then passed on. Now it has reached epidemic proportions within the black community. Just do the research and learn how this disease started; that`s all I ask. I`m just the messenger.

  6. Vicki

    According to the SF Examiner 2/3/98, HIV was first discovered in a blood sample in 1959 from an Congolese African. It has long been held that some of the world’s worst diseases (ie: hemorrhagic fevers, auto-immune viruses) have been found in Africa. Why? Because human beings are intruding into areas where they haven’t gone before for hundreds of thousands of years. Without the hundreds of thousands of years it takes for evolution to kick in and give a human population some kind of immunity, we frail humans are susceptible to these virus.
    In 1959, they did not have the technology to manipulate viruses like they do now.
    In the 1970’s the virus struck gay men in the US and Sweden. You think that Sweden or the entire European community would fall on the racist sword of the US for some kind of black-hating experiment?
    They knew in the ’70’s that viruses cannot be cured by common means. Any release of a virus into a population (regardless of race) would be genocidal and nihilistic.
    Given the advent of the Genome Project, HIV has been well studied and documented by a collaborative of world scientist. The strains and mutations of the virus has been studied and known about since the 1990’s.
    To anyone who holds onto conspiracy theories about HIV, please study virology, human pathology and human anatomy and physiology. If vaccines were the culprit, alot more people would have gotten sick then now. Why? Because the unknowing would have spread the virus without risk factors being involved. Before HIV, people did not use gloves or any kind of universal precautions like they do now. It was nothing to touch another persons bodily fluids. So, you’d see alot more medical people becoming infected than what has been reported during the 70’s and 80’s.
    If you have some proof that HIV is a man-made experiment, submit it. For someone in the medical field with a strong science background, I think I can take a critical look at it.
    Once again, the disease will die out if people stop spreading it.

  7. Terence

    For anyone interested in doing follow up/research I direct you to the following:

    Google- “Schiller Institute-Kissinger`s 1974 Genocide Plan-NSSM 200”

    Google-“The History Of The Development Of Aids”

    The following books:

    “Medical Apartheid”-By Harriett A. Washington

    “Emerging Viruses”-By Dr.Leonard Horowitz

    There`s a world of information out there that will give one keen insight. These are only a few sources that I have given. I can`t force anyone to accept it as truth. I can only put the information out there and then it is up to each individual to do their own research and take a critical look at the information.

    This is not a tug of war with myself or anyone and I will not engage in long going debates on the subject. If you disagree fine, but I am not the source of said information. So therefore, if you have a disagreement then it is with the authors of that information.

    I only point this out because this will be my last post concerning the subject. We all are capable of doing our own research with relying on the endeavor of others. Therefore, each individual can continue this task at their own pace and their own accord.

    In my closing I`d like to say one thing concerning “conspiracy theories”. Perhaps, if we all took a more critical look at what we`re being fed in the “mainstream” media there would be less theories (as some say) and more hidden truths revealed…..Just research “The Tuskegee Experiment” and it will give any rational person cause to be “PARANOID”……

  8. Terence

    Typo correction:

    “Emerging Viruses-Aids & Ebola”-By Dr. Leonard Horowitz

  9. Terence

    Sorry another typo correction:

    We all are capable of doing our own research without relying on the endeavor of others.

  10. JD Gent

    Quit blaming whites& take personal responsibility for your lives. Don’t fornicate, don’t do drugs..etc. It’s not white racism but moral decadence & phony religious leaders which are doing in the black community.

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