Hiv In Black African American Essay

2789 words - 12 pages

HIV in the African American Population

HIV in the African American Population

The year was 1981, and the first discovered cases of PCP, Pneumocystis Cabrini pneumonia was discovered in five young males who did not fit the norm for being diagnosed with this disease. In 1983, the isolation of a T lymph tropic retrovirus was found. In January 1983, the CDC reported a new disease which could be sexually transmitted both homosexually and heterosexual, passed from mother to infant, through blood and blood products. A note was made that the disease could also be passed from a negative host, who carried the disease asymptomatically.
On February 7th, the world takes notice of the African ...view middle of the document...

The National HIV/AIDS Strategy has reported that African Americans form the greatest proportion of the many cases of HIV/AIDS in the various transmission sorts, including among women, injection drug users, infants and heterosexual men (The White House, 2010).
From the above statistics, one may, therefore, wonder African Americans as affected by AIDS in such a disproportionate manner. Historically, it was back in the early 1980s when the first AIDS cases among the African Americans were identified. During this era, HIV and AIDS among the blacks was a disease closely associated with intravenous drug users (IDUs) and gay men. But in 1983, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the United States documented the very first AIDS in women cases as a result of sexual intercourse between these women and IDUs (CDC, 2011). Of the two women, one was a black and the other a Latina. It is from this point that AIDS rapidly spread among the African American populace and by 1998; women were the ones who had been greatly affected. Presently, 60% of women infected with Aids in the United States are African Americans (NASTAD, 2005). The seriousness of this HIV/AIDS among the African Americans was also highlighted by numerous known blacks who had been infected with the disease. A good example is Max Robinson (a former US news anchor), who was the very first African American celebrity to publicly declare his HIV status, but later in 1988 passed on. Others included Arthur Ashe (a tennis star), Easy-E (the rapper), Earvin Johnson (a former basket baller) (CDC, 2011).
Among the main risk factors that predisposed the African Americans to AIDS included drug use and sexual transmission. Notably, African American men and women were constantly engaged in unprotected sex activities, and this proved to be the leading cause of infection of HIV and AIDS. Fifty per cent of the black males living with HIV/AIDS by 2008 had gotten it through male-to-male sexual intercourses. Even the national HIV/AIDS Strategy attested to this by reporting that half of the bisexual and gay men in five of the United States’ major cities tested positive for HIV (The White House, 2010). Additionally, a more profound study done in twenty one cities documented that over 30% of the black MSM were HIV positive. It is between 2001 and 2006 that the spread of HIV among this group of people in the U.S. grew rapidly; by 93% among those MSM blacks between the ages of thirteen and twenty four. Such great numbers of HIV infections among the blacks were believed to be as a result of considerably high prevalence of HIV among the African American community. Moreover, the risk was rising for those of the young generation who constantly partnered with the older men since these older MSM tended to be more exposed to sexual encounters thus heightening their exposure to HIV. Besides, the young MSM blacks are less likely to come to the realization that they have been infected, and this meant that...

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