While HIV/AIDS is an epidemic that affects every race and population around the globe, it is important to give help to the race that is most affected by this disease and that is the African American ethnic group. In every category it seems that Black people are more affected and more prone to contract HIV/AIDS. From the problems of poverty, incarceration, awareness, drugs and sexual awareness African Americans lead in every category. These problems have existed since the beginning of the epidemic and although there have been advanced in the medical and technological fields, African American people do not have as much access as other ethnic groups.
The vicious cycle of poverty, drugs and incarceration lead to a devastating lifestyle in the African American community. This is one of the main reasons why the death rate and contraction rate of disease is higher among African American people. Drugs and poverty lead to incarceration and incarceration leads to drug and poverty. One mistake and the life of an African American person could change forever and become another statistic.
There needs to be a change within how we fight the AIDS epidemic. There needs to be a call for help and action within the government and the African American people. First there needs to be an acceptance of gay and bisexual people within the community and a spread of awareness of the disease. There also needs to be better living conditions and medicinal programs that allow for AIDS testing. Realizing that incarceration, poverty and drugs are some of the leading factors in contracting AIDS also needs to be recognized in order to slow the pace of the disease within the black community.
I hope this Analysis and website has been helpful and eye-opening to the struggles and inequality that the Black community faces especially in regards to AIDS. Many people have tried speaking about it and using their work and music to try to show the struggles of the African American person but it continuously gets overlooked. This invisibility needs to be challenged and something needs to be done.
The African American Community is mostly affected in three groups: women, young people and heterosexual and gay men.
Among all women, Black women account for the largest share of new HIV diagnoses (about 4,500, or 60% in 2016), and the rate of new diagnoses among Black women (26.2) is 15 times the rate among white women and nearly 5 times the rate among Latinas. Black women also accounted for the largest share of women living with an HIV diagnosis at the end of 2015(Kaiser 2018). Women continue to be a large statistic and constitute one of the most alarming trends in the epidemic in recent years. This trend continues to be particularly visible in the South, where African- American women constituted 72% of all reported cases(nmac.org).In 2016, Black women represented about one quarter (26%) of new HIV diagnoses among all Blacks – a higher share than Latinas and white women (who represented 12% and 14% of new diagnoses among their respective groups)(Kaiser 2018). These percentages have decreased over time but African American women continue to be impacted heavily by HIV/AIDS.
In 2016, Black teens and young adults, ages 13-24, represented more than half (54%) of new HIV diagnoses in that age group. According to a national survey of young adults ages 18-30, about three times as many Blacks (46%) as whites (15%) say HIV today is a “very serious” concern for people they know. Almost twice as many Black young adults (30%) say they know someone who is living with, or has died of, HIV/AIDS, compared to whites (16%)(Kaiser 2018). Young black people are also more susceptible to lives of crime, incarceration, and drugs. Young African Americans are also not educated or mature enough to know about unprotected sex and being careful when sharing anything that can transmit HIV/AIDS. These factors all lead to an increase in the contraction of HIV/AIDS in young black people.
Gay and Bisexual Men
The population with the most disproportionate HIV burden is African American gay and bisexual men, who have HIV prevalence rates that are twice those of white counterparts. There are a number of reasons for this disparity. Evidence suggests that African American heterosexuals and gays less frequently tested for HIV and at later stages of their HIV infection, and are also less likely to have been previously aware that they were HIV positive, than other racial groups(nmac.org). In addition, Black gay and bisexual men are less likely to identify as gay or disclose their sexual behavior to others. Research suggests that the homophobia and related stigma that many men feel for being both African American and gay carries into their experiences with the healthcare system, and can interfere with accessing HIV testing and other medical services (Malebranche, Peterson, Fullilove and Stackhouse, 2004). This stigma of the “down low” brother greatly influences the “coming out” of African American men and how they go about getting tested and many do not want to or are scared to. In my personal observations in Midtown when working as a valet I have seen awareness programs go to mostly bi or gay clubs and bars and give free testing and condoms to help with this epidemic. This is because gay and bi men are less likely to go out and do it themselves. A study in 20 major U.S. cities found that about 36% of Black gay and bisexual men were infected with HIV, compared to 22% of gay and bisexual men overall, and awareness of infection among Black gay and bisexual men was lower compared with gay and bisexual men in the study overall(Kaiser 2018).
Other notable facts from Kaiser state:
Among gay and bisexual men, Blacks have been disproportionately affected by HIV and Blacks account for 38% of HIV diagnoses attributable to male-to-male sexual contact.
In 2016, male-to-male sexual contact accounted for more than half (58%) of new HIV diagnoses among Blacks overall and a majority (79%) of new diagnoses among Black men.
Young Black gay and bisexual men are particularly affected, with those ages 13-24 representing over half (54%) of new HIV diagnoses among all gay and bisexual men in that age group.
In addition, newly diagnosed Black gay and bisexual men are younger than their white counterparts, with those ages 13-24 accounting for 36% of new HIV diagnoses among Black gay and bisexual men in 2016, compared to 15% among whites.
Problems enabling AIDS in the African American Community
African Americans have been and continue to be overrepresented in the HIV/AIDS epedmic. Currently, African Americans only account for roughly 12 percent of the United States population but 43 percent of the population is affected by AIDS. This statistic alone is enough to show that there is a big problem within the African American community. Black people are 10 times more likely to have AIDS than whites(nmac.org). With many medical and technological advances the number of cases and deaths of HIV/AIDS should be decreasing. For the African American community, it hasn’t decreased nearly as much as other races. While AIDS deaths among whites fell by 19% from 2000 to 2004, they declined only 7% among African Americans (Kaiser Family Foundation, 2006). This raises the obvious question, why is AIDS affecting the African American community the most and why is it not improving?
One of the reasons for AIDS affecting the African American community is poverty. Unable to afford additional healthcare while having children, a job, food, school, and rent there is little time or money to prevent against HIV/AIDS. In 2010 African Americans led the nation with 27.4 percent of the population living in poverty, over one of every four people (State of Working America). Often living in poverty means lack of education, lack of access to healthcare, increased risk of substance use and homelessness, and increased likelihood of engaging in sex work as a source of income. All are factors that can increase the risk of acquiring HIV. For those living in poverty who become HIV-positive, priorities do not change. Their concerns on a day-to-day basis are finding and maintaining income, keeping food on the table, and ensuring a place to sleep at night(hivequal.org).
Living in poverty also leads to the second problem, incarceration. Incarceration is one of the most important drivers of HIV infection among African Americans. In addition to in-prison HIV risk behavior, such as unprotected sex and injection drug use, formerly incarcerated persons play a big role in transmitting HIV to others following their release from prison or in between periods of incarceration. This is because infectious diseases are highly concentrated in corrections facilities: 15% of jail inmates and 22% of prisoners – compared to 5% of the general population – reported ever having tuberculosis, Hepatitis B and C, HIV/AIDS, or other STDs(NAACP).
Life does not get easier after incarceration as most jobs will not accept you to be employed. A criminal record can reduce the likelihood of a callback or job offer by nearly 50 percent. The negative impact of a criminal record is twice as large for African American applicants(NAACP). This causes one to fall back into a life of poverty, drugs and crime, further increasing the chances of contracting HIV/AIDS. In 2014, African Americans constituted 2.3 million, or 34%, of the total 6.8 million correctional population and are incarcerated at more than 5 times the rate of whites. The imprisonment rate for African American women is twice that of white women(NAACP). These two issues cause a devastating cycle to the African American community as these issues go hand in hand and both lead to an increased chance of HIV/AIDS.
Another reason for a high HIV/AIDS rate is the issue of drugs. Drug use is a particularly important risk factor for HIV infection among African Americans and Hispanics. Injection drug use accounts for more than 19% of new African-American HIV infections in this country (CDC, 2006). HIV infection associated with injection drug use was 2.4 times more prevalent among African Americans , respectively, than whites living with HIV/AIDS in the United States in 2004. In major cities poverty drugs and incarceration go hand in hand. Education on cleaning needles is not cared for or learned by much of the population. In a study of more than 8,000 patients in six cities by ME Betz and colleagues found that African-American women accounted for a disproportionately high percentage of AIDS-defining illness hospitalizations among women. Moreover, African Americans were more likely to be hospitalized with co- morbid mental health conditions than whites. They conclude:“These results emphasize the significant burden of co-morbid disease resulting from drug and alcohol use by adults infected with HIV, and support previous findings of an increased prevalence of substance abuse and psychiatric disorders among individuals with HIV” (Betz, Gabo and Barber, 2005).
The last and most unknown reason for a disparity in the African American community in regards to AIDS is limited sexual networks. While interracial dating continues to be on the rise in the United States, black people remain the minority group that has relationships outside of their race the least at 19 percent. This means that the majority of black people have sexual partners who are also black. Since African Americans are the biggest group affected by AIDS and are so close knit it was inevitable that once the black community was exposed to HIV it spread quicker and the negative impact was and continues to be greater. This means that black people who choose other black partners are more likely to come in contact with someone who is HIV-positive than other people who date within their race. This is especially true in LGBT communities as the CDC has reported that more than 1 in 4 black gay and bisexual men and 1 in 2 black transgender women are testing positive for HIV.
McClure, D. (2016). Who Will Survive In America: Gil Scott Heron, the Black Radical Tradition, and the Critique of Neoliberalism. In Michael Mitchell & David Covin (Ed.), Broadening the Contours in the Study of Black Politics(pp. 3- 20). New York, NY: Transaction Publishers
In this post I will be thinking about and analyzing evidence in writing.
Where do my ideas come from?
My ideas come from research based upon my quilt panel and personal experiences that I have seen in my life.
I need to make sure to use quality sources to lend to my ethos. The way I use the sources lends to my ethos.
Using an example of another website I will be looking at the “introduction” and “policies” sections and writing a review.
The introduction does a good job of linking the panel to the broader topic of U.S. service members with HIV/AIDS and explains it well. It also does a good job to normalize the subject of the quilt as an everyday person so it is relatable and empathetic. Their was a lot of statistical information already in the introduction, and it was backed up with links to that information as well. I would have liked to see information on people who were not LGB as well but this does narrow it down and make the study better. I would have also liked to see a thesis and conclusions on what was gained from this cite and what you can learn in the introduction. The author uses a lot of evidence in the entirety of the post, in the “policies” section almost the entire text is evidence of the case being presented. This boosts the ethos of this argument for me knowing that this is not all opinionated writing but actual information that is based upon experts writings.
In this post I had written a sentence about abstract ideas earlier in the year. Using the second paragraph I will be re-thinking this statement and coming to more conclusions and answering questions.
It was because I was focused on an abstract idea or thought and not researching and describing concrete objects which are easily and accurately explained and understood.
Maybe you just hadn’t landed on an idea yet. I agree that it is often useful to gather material in the form of description, summary, etc. But abstract writing, if you’re conscious of what you’re doing, can very much help you discover and articulate an idea. For instance, this note that I’m writing right now is abstract, right? (Is it? How can we define that term?) It isn’t unfocused, though, or “cloudy.” At least I don’t think so. What do you think?
I wrote this in context to reading response one in the beginning of the year and my writing an understanding has come a long way since then. A lot of my best research since then has come from researching and studying an abstract idea such Pan-Africanism, or the connection between the Gil Scott-Heron panel and a broader topic. This is also because I was aiming for a specific purpose and not grasping for straws like I did in previous writings. The word can be defined as “existing in thought or as an idea but not having a physical or concrete existence”(Google). Based upon the definition this writing is abstract because the words are not physical or concrete.
In this exercise I will be using the first paragraph by Fowler to provide deep thoughts and answer questions provided in the second paragraph.
A writer uses abstract words because his thoughts are cloudy; the habit of using them clouds his thoughts still further; he may end by concealing his meaning not only from his readers but also from himself.
But maybe the writer means to be abstract. What if Fowler is wrong, particularly in his framing of thinking as either/or: either concrete or abstract, one is “good” the other “bad”…? This isn’t how meaning-making works, is it? Could there be a third? What do you think?
In my opinion I think that based on this paragraph that Fowler wrote he is incorrect in his thinking. Sometimes writers use abstract words to give meaning or provide a couple different meanings to one’s work. For example in my own research on this cite I am using an Pan-Africanism as an abstract word which has various meanings such as the BLM movement or the Black Panthers. These things are completely different but provide different avenues of thought and meaning that are both clear to me and my reader even though it is based upon a abstract word. Another example is poetry, and other literary works which have different forms of interpretation. The meaning is clear to the writer and based upon first look the reader can decipher their own meaning as well. The poem “The Red Wheelbarrow” states
so much depends
a red wheel
glazed with rain
beside the white
This poem is based upon an abstract idea of a red wheelbarrow that “so much depends upon”. This meaning is not clouded to the reader and can be interpreted by readers differently. For me I believe that the wheelbarrow is very important because I think that it belongs to someone who owns a farm and it is a tool of great importance because of its many uses and its ability to move a lot of stuff without much physical exertion.
I do not think that writing has to be either only concrete or abstract, in the poem above the writer uses a concrete object with abstract ideas and it is a great piece of work. Both concrete and abstract thinking and writing give good and bad qualities to your work depending upon how one uses them. Meaning can be derived from either of these, so I believe that there should be a third more commonly used form of writing that should be most commonly talked about and used and that is a mixture of both abstract and concrete thinking.
Kuryla, P. (2016, April). Pan Africanism. Brittanica.com
This Brittanica source will be really helpful to me because it provide a lot of history on how Pan-Africanism has evolved and how it started. It provides links to key word terms so that I can do even more research. This page helped me to find synonyms to the word “Pan-Afrcanism” and how that word evolved through the time periods. For example “Black Power” is a form of Pan-Africanism because it is a uniting movement for people of African American descent. “Black Lives Matter” is also another form of a Pan-African movement. This source was a great read and will help me to find other sources.
After more research I have narrowed the topic of my research to the invisibility of men with AIDS and how it has challenged the culture and Pan- Africanism of this society. My research questions are
1) There is an invisibility: AA men suffering from AIDS have been/are made “invisible” in some ways.
In what ways have they been “made” invisible? Why have they been made this way? By whom?
***What are the numbers: How many AA men had/have HIV/AIDS? Where? When? Who documented that information…
**What are the cultural attitudes about HIV/AIDS among AA men? Then and now? How have they evolved?