8/02/2008

HIV/AIDS rampant in the African Diaspora

If black America were its own country, maybe the United States would actually care about its own HIV/AIDS epidemic.

From Black AIDS Institute:

The United States leads the global response to HIV/AIDS, but fails to mobilize the same commitment to address the large and growing epidemic within its own borders, finds a new report released today by the Black AIDS Institute. "Left Behind! Black America: A Neglected Priority in the Global AIDS Epidemic" praises the United States for it vital efforts to address HIV worldwide, but criticizes the government's profoundly inadequate response to the epidemic within its own borders, where Black Americans are most severely affected by the disease.

"More Black Americans are infected with HIV than the total populations
of people living with HIV in seven of the 15 countries served by PEPFAR," noted
Phill Wilson, CEO of the Black AIDS Institute and one of the authors of the
report, referring to the U.S. government’s program of extraordinary aid for
countries severely impacted by the epidemic. "Were Black America a separate
country, it would elicit major concern and extensive assistance from the U.S.
government. Instead, the national response to AIDS among Black Americans has
been lethargic and often neglectful."

According to the report:

• Standing on its own, Black America would constitute the world’s 35th most
populous country, but would rank 16th in the world in the number of people
living with HIV.
• A free-standing Black America would rank 105th worldwide
in life expectancy and 88th in infant mortality. Blacks in the U.S. have a lower
life expectancy than do citizens of Algeria, the Dominican Republic or Sri
Lanka.
• Outside of sub-Saharan Africa, only four countries – and only two
in the Western Hemisphere – have adult HIV prevalence as high as the
conservative estimate (2% among adults) for Black America. Blacks represent
about one in eight Americans, but account for one in two people living with HIV
in the U.S.
• Despite extraordinary improvements in HIV treatment, AIDS
remains the leading cause of death among Black women between 25-34 years and the
second leading cause of death in Black men between 35-44 years.
• Black
women in the U.S. are 23 times more likely than White women to be diagnosed with
AIDS.
• Blacks make up 70% of new HIV diagnoses among teenagers and 65% of
HIV-infected newborns.

Meanwhile, as reported here a while ago, Jamaica continues to have problems dealing with its
epidemic.

From Tell Me More's blog:


Ingrid Brown, a newspaper writer from Jamaica, said her country's growing
Rastafarian community doesn't believe in using condoms, which means sharing HIV
prevention information could turn many of her readers away.

Kaiser Family Foundation will stream the XVII International AIDS Conference in Mexico City on its website next week. It is a great opportunity to see how many countries, including the United States, have to say about the epidemic.

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1 Comments:

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