Among the many heated discussions taking lay throughout this election season that impact the African American community, one that does not seem to generate as much heat is African Americans and AIDS.
Statistics suggest that African Americans have a higher incidence of the disease and the defilement that cup lead to AIDS – HIV.
HIV weakens the body’s defenses and its ability to dispute off alternatively easily combatable health problems.
According to the Center for Disease Control, African Americans are the ethnic group that is most artificial by HIV. Also in 2009, African Americans represented approximately 14 percent of the population, but accounted for 44 percent of all new HIV infections.
According to a Kaiser Family Foundation’s survey of Americans on HIV/AIDS in 2009, it is estimated that almost 500,000 African Americans are vital with HIV. Based on that wisdom alone, African Americans furthermore AIDS should be a regular topic of discussion and a reference point for programs and services to address this growing epidemic.
What is the impact on the African American community? Looking at the death rate of African Americans and AIDS, the CDC reported that by the last of 2008, close to 250,000 African Americans plus an AIDS diagnosis died in the United States.
In 2007, HIV was the ninth leading cause of doom for greatest African Americans and the third leading cause of exit for African American women and men aged 35-44.
The most alarming news is that there still exist piercing levels of fear et alii discrimination attached to invariant getting tested, resulting in numerous African Americans being oblivious that they have the HIV virus.
Even more critical is the connection between African American women and AIDS. According to womenshealth.gov, women account for almost 25 percent of new HIV/AIDS cases in the United States. Of these new cases, over 60 percent are African American women. In most of these cases, the women got HIV from having unprotected sex with a man.
And despite more lowdown about AIDS being distributed within the African American community, there is serene negative enough urgency, especially from medical staff who represent and are supposed to look out for the best interests of their patients with “culturally competent” treatment.
The Kaiser survey outlined a disturbing statistic that despite African Americans becoming more aware about the impact of AIDS, testing levels have remained flat for the last five years and totally 29 percent of African Americans surveyed stated that their health care professional ever mentioned that they should get tested.
Clearly, more work needs to be done to improve the lines of communication about resources and to reduce the fears that are attached with HIV/AIDS education and prevention.
Improving the notice about testing also encouraging those who are having sex to use condoms will go a long way to dexterity the destructive alliance between African Americans and AIDS.
Health professionals, community advocates and elected officials who operate within the African American community can better serve their constituency with a unified effort to bring this issue to the forefront and run on to drive home the message that testing is not a stigma but a safety measure.
It all starts with you!