Letters to the Editor

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AIDS: Fight crisis in the black community

Letter by David Strong, Tacoma on Jan. 30, 2012 at 2:12 pm with 18 Comments »
January 30, 2012 2:25 pm

HIV/AIDS is a crisis out of control in black communities throughout the United States. The continued severity of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in black communities cannot be underestimated. Our challenge in 2012 is to stem the tide and save the lives of black people locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.

For almost 12 years now, Feb. 7 has been designated as National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. It is a national HIV testing and treatment community mobilization initiative designed to encourage blacks across the United States and territorial areas to get educated, get tested, get treated and get involved with HIV/AIDS.

The theme for 2012 is “I Am My Brother/Sister’s Keeper: Fight HIV/AIDS!” with the intentions to ensure that we as black people unite and take care of one another. We are asking black community stakeholders concerned about HIV/AIDS in their community to become the voice for change – education, testing, involvement and/or treatment.

All people, regardless of lifestyle or HIV status, can and should get involved with developing and sharing an HIV/AIDS message to their families and communities.

(Strong is the executive director of the AIDS Housing Association of Tacoma.)

Leave a comment Comments → 18
  1. Black, purple, sky-blue; AIDS/HIV is an equal opportunity virus.

  2. alindasue says:

    Romulan said, “Black, purple, sky-blue; AIDS/HIV is an equal opportunity virus.”

    That it is, which is all the more reason we should all support the fight against it.

    I think we ended up with a “black” AIDS awareness day because it falls during “Black” history month. It really is a cause we should all be aware of.

  3. taxedenoughintacoma says:

    Why is this now a black issue??? AIDS doesn’t descriminate.

  4. Thanks taxed; some common sense in Washington!

  5. ReadNLearn says:

    Thank you ‘taxedenoughintacoma’ I was wondering how AIDS is somehow racist. WTF? Isn’t this an individual responsibility issue, where poor personal life choices can cause someone to catch it? This is insulting. African-Americans are just as likely to make good decisions or bad decisions as anyone else. For them to say that ‘blacks’ are more likely to suffer from it is to either be racist, or to say that the African-Americans are poorer at making life choices. That’s racist and that’s unacceptable.

  6. surething says:

    What other races have an AIDS day? Ridiculous.

  7. taxedenoughintacoma, it’s a high risk behavior demographic issue.

  8. Sroldguy says:

    In 2009, black men accounted for 70% of the estimated new HIV infections among all blacks. The estimated rate of new HIV infection for black men was more than six and a half times as high as that of white men, and two and a half times as high as that of Latino men or black women.

    In 2009, black men who have sex with men (MSM)1 represented an estimated 73% of new infections among all black men, and 37% among all MSM. More new HIV infections occurred among young black MSM (aged 13–29) than any other age and racial group of MSM. In addition, new HIV infections among young black MSM increased by 48% from 2006–2009.

    In 2009, black women accounted for 30% of the estimated new HIV infections among all blacks. Most (85%) black women with HIV acquired HIV through heterosexual sex. The estimated rate of new HIV infections for black women was more than 15 times as high as the rate for white women, and more than three times as high as that of Latina women.

  9. Cystic phyprosis (sp) and skin cancer mostly affects fair skinned people; what’s your point? Discrimatory illnesses?

  10. The reason why there is a Black AIDS awareness day is because the rate of infection is high in the Black community.

    Just was as true in the beginnings of the disease – when the Gay community became very active in spreading the word on the disease because they were suffering a much higher rate of infection than the rest of America – the Black community must now focus their efforts at educating their populace.

  11. pantomancer says:

    The effort to eradicate HIV/AIDS, regardless race, seems would be worth the effort. I believe we must ask ourselves,’why is the incidence of HIV/AIDS proportionally higher in the black community’? Bill Cosby had some insight to the question, but he was rather vilified for it. If we are not willing to ask the tough questions and take bold steps to reverse causes and behaviors, we’re not likely to make much difference.

  12. itwasntmethistime says:

    Sorry, I’m not taking the blame for this, just because I belong to “society.” As it stands I have no right to tell anyone, black, white, or purple, who they can take up with for any reason. I don’t get any say in who a gal dates, I just get to pay for it when she needs domestic violence services. I don’t get any say in who a gal sleeps with, I just get to pay for all the services her fatherless children need from the public. I don’t get a say in how people parent their teenagers, I just get to pay for the collateral damage when their kids are roaming the streets at night instead of tucked in their beds.

  13. BlaineCGarver says:

    Keep it in your pants. There, I fixed.

  14. taxedenoughintacoma says:

    And for the women, keep your legs crossed. Until you have a father that will raise the child.

  15. ReadNLearn says:

    People are people. There’s probably the same percentages of blacks, whites, Hispanics, Indians, and asians catting around and being irresponsible. To focus upon the African-Americans and force statistics that show African-American males as reckless and less likely to be responsible with recreational sex and drug use is a deep, patronizing and systemic form of racism, devious as it’s portrayed as sympathetic, but actually it’s a deliberate effort to continue a mindset of victimization and condesention. We’ve an African-American President. Most of us work with people of different races and back grounds. It’s time we say ‘enough’ and argue that people are people and individual responsibility is the issue, not race.

  16. HIV is one of the least communicable diseases – you practically have to seek it out by making one conscious poor choice after another, i.e. ‘I will not wear a condom; I will share needles.’ Very easy to avoid HIV, and there are relatively few cases in the US compared to much more serious diseases – somehow HIV gets over-represented in the media.

  17. ManuelMartini says:

    There was a time when heterosexual females were the highest growing demographic in terms of AIDS.

    At that time, a special emphasis was put on education. Usually ignorance is the primary contributor to disease. It appears there is lots of opportunity, if this thread is an indicator.


  18. beerBoy says:

    Big stretch there ReadNLearn.

    Targeting education efforts to the demographic group that currently has the highest rate of infection is hardly patronizing nor racist.

    Let me guess…you are a white heterosexual male.

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