AIDS, the new juju for the higher melanin bearers

“Intense, unexpected suffering passes more quickly than suffering that is apparently bearable; the latter goes on for years and, without our noticing, eats away our souls, until we are no longer able to free ourselves and it stays with us for the rest of our lives.”

–Paulo Coelho

Quoting, “ AIDS in America is a black disease” is sure to replicate quite a few answers. This immunodeficiency disease is lest regarded as a disease, it is the cancerous growth of black emotions. Hence, a disease never does end up in the malfunction of the metabolism but it metabolizes the whole connectivity in vitro the body.

Biologically, Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is the virus that causes AIDS. When a person becomes infected with HIV, the virus attacks and weakens the immune system. As the immune system weakens, the person is at risk of getting life-threatening infections and cancers. When that happens, the illness is called AIDS. Once a person has the virus, it stays inside the body for life.

The United States of America (USA) currently has around 1.2 million people living with HIV.  Nearly one in eight of these people are unaware they have HIV. The size of the epidemic is relatively small compared to the country’s population, but is heavily concentrated among several key affected populations. Most new HIV infections occur among men who have sex with men (sometimes referred to as MSM), with African American/black men who have sex with men most affected. African American/black heterosexual women are also disproportionately affected.

Although the USA is the greatest national funder of the HIV epidemic globally, it is still facing a major ongoing HIV epidemic itself.

HIV rates are higher in southern states, which account for around 44% of all people living with HIV, despite making up roughly one-third (37%) of the population.

Since the beginning of the HIV epidemic, 675,000 people have died of AIDS-related illnesses in the USA.

Although the USA is the greatest national funder of the HIV epidemic globally, it is still facing a major ongoing HIV epidemic itself, with around 40,000 new infections a year. Stigma and discrimination continue to hamper people’s access to HIV prevention, testing and treatment services, fueling the cycle of new infections.

The USA lacked a comprehensive plan on HIV until President Obama created a National HIV/AIDS Strategy in 2010. The latest strategy, released in 2015, is structured around four core aims: reducing new HIV infections, increasing access to care and improving health outcomes for people living with HIV, reducing HIV-related disparities and health inequities and achieving a coordinated national response to the epidemic.

The impact of the HIV epidemic in the USA is more serious among some groups than others. These key affected populations can be grouped by transmission category (for example, men who have sex with men) but also by race, with people of color having significantly higher rates of HIV infection over white Americans.

A complex set of economic and socioeconomic factors drive risk to these populations, including discrimination, stigma, poverty and a lack of access to care.8 Sexual networks is also a major determining factor, with populations at a high risk to HIV tending to have sex with people in their own communities.

African American/black people are most affected by HIV in the USA. This group accounted for 44% of all new HIV infections in 2014 and 43% of the total number of people living with HIV in the USA, despite only making up 12% of the population. Among all African American/black people diagnosed with HIV in 2014, an estimated 57% (11,201) were men who have sex with men. Of these, 39% (4,321) were young men (aged 13 to 24).

From 2005 to 2014, the number of new HIV diagnoses among African American/black women fell 42%, although it is still high compared to women from other racial or ethnic groups. In 2014, an estimated 1,350 Hispanic/Latino women and 1,483 white women were diagnosed with HIV, compared to 5,128 African American/black women.

African American/black men and women are most likely to be infected through unprotected sex with a man or by injecting drugs. Other factors such as heightened levels of poverty, lack of access to adequate healthcare and stigma surrounding men who have sex with men also increase this group’s risk of HIV infection.

Young African American/black men who have sex with men (aged 13 to 24) are most affected. In 2014, 55% of young men who have sex with men newly diagnosed with HIV were African American/black.

High HIV prevalence within the African American/black community and the increased likelihood of individuals within this community only having sex with others in the community heightens their risk of HIV.

Phill Wilson has been president and CEO of the Black AIDS Institute for 19 years. But recently he  announced his plans to retire.

To a contrast of nature,

Phill says, he along with his colleagues marched in the Kingdom Day Parade last month, and toward the end of the route, a group of 10-15 men and women began heckling them.

“All Black people don’t have AIDS,” they said, referring to the Black AIDS Institute banner we were marching behind. “You need to take that sign down. It offends us.”

On course of time he attempted to explain that they were raising awareness to help prevent the spread of HIV within the black community, but to his observations, efforts were not exactly effective.

Wilson says In the National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, many believe the AIDS epidemic is over, in part because HIV does not get the media attention it used to. But nothing could be further from the truth, especially for black Americans.

According to Wilson, the question to end the overall AIDS epidemic in the U.S. has been asked and answered. He says, they  have the diagnostic, surveillance, treatment and biomedical prevention tools necessary to eradicate the country of this disease. The real question is whether we have the political and moral will to use these tools effectively, humanely and in an inclusive manner.

He says,  cannot end the HIV/AIDS epidemic in America is pretty hard to end if administration doesn’t address the unique ways this disease affects the black community. National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day takes place during Black History Month for a reason.

He also recalls, that it is a reminder to black people that, as Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health is the most shocking and inhuman.”

The biggest question that lay in due is the end of this epidemic disease and it’s relativity to the Black community.Just because the ratio is higher for a particular skin color that doesn’t at all pose a factor in their identity.

by Israt Yasmin, The Blogging Connection

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.