For Discussion: HIV and Chocolate City

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Categories: For Discussion, Gay, News

Posted by Bossip Staff

Aids Rally

You can’t believe every thing you read, but these statistics concerning Aids in DC are staggering…

Right here in the nation’s capitol, the HIV/AIDS epidemic rivals that of many Third World countries. Washington D.C. affectionately dubbed as “Chocolate City” is approximately 60 percent of people of African descent. And of it’s residents one in 20 is thought to have HIV, and 1 in 50 of its residents to have AIDS. Of the 3,269 HIV cases identified between 2001 and 2006 who tested positive nine of 10 were African American. “The Washington data is really a microcosm of what we already know: that AIDS in America today is a black disease,” said Phil Wilson, founder of the Black AIDS Institute, an HIV/AIDS think tank that focuses exclusively on AIDS among black Americans. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, African Americans account for half of all new HIV cases despite comprising 13 percent of the U.S. population. Equally alarming is that HIV/AIDS is the leading cause of death for African American women between the ages of 25 and 44. At the “Women and Response to AIDS” panel at the at the 16th International AIDS Conference in Toronto in 2006, Sheila Johnson, founder of the Crump-Johnson Foundation in Washington D.C., pointed out that another at-risk population in the African American community is teenage girls. Seventeen percent of the U.S. teen population is African American. In 2004, 70 percent of all teens testing HIV-positive were black. One in 10 African American teenage girls test HIV-positive in the nation’s capital, the highest percentage in the country among this age group. When asked why such a high percentage test positive, Johnson said, “As long as girls see themselves as glorified sex objects in hip-hop videos, HIV/AIDS will increase within this population.”

Bossipers, what are some of the factors you all think are contributing to this epidemic and more importantly, what can we do to curb this trend?

Discuss…

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