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2005 HIV Update on Race Gap

Dave notes it is still puzzling why blacks which are 12.8% of the U.S. population make up about 49.3% of U.S. HIV case and the disporportion is growing. Other than cultural differences the cause seems to also include poor access to health prevention and care services for some African Americans is the experience of racism in health care settings and mistrust of the health care system in general. Nearly 1 in 4 African Americans live in poverty. Research suggests a direct relationship between higher AIDS incidence and lower income. Source: http://hab.hrsa.gov/history/fact2005/african_americans_and_hivaids.htm  This is simply a fact not a racist statement as some try and make it.

11/20/05 CDC: HIV infection rate slightly decreases in blacks But huge racial disparities still exist despite decline in new cases

ATLANTA, Georgia (AP) -- The rate of newly reported HIV cases among blacks has been dropping by about 5 percent a year since 2001, the government said Thursday. But blacks are still eight times more likely than whites to be diagnosed with the AIDS virus. "The racial disparities remain severe," said Lisa Lee, an epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The falling rate among blacks seems to be tied to overlapping drops in diagnoses among intravenous drug users and heterosexuals, CDC researchers said.

The rate fell from 22.8 cases per 100,000 people in 2001 to 20.7 per 100,000 in 2004. The decline was more pronounced among blacks -- the rate dropped from 88.7 per 100,000 in 2001 to 76.3 in 2004. Among whites, the rate rose slightly from 8.7 to 9.0.

At least part of the decline among blacks appears to be tied to a 9 percent annual decline in diagnoses among intravenous drug users, who can get the virus from contaminated needles. More than half of the drug users were black, Lee said. The decline is also linked to a 4 percent decline in diagnoses among heterosexuals. About 69 percent of the heterosexuals diagnosed with HIV were black.

Diagnoses among men who have sex with men remained roughly stable from 2001 to 2003 but climbed 8 percent between 2003 and 2004. That was true for men of all races, CDC officials said. But they could not explain the recent increase.

In New York, needle exchange programs helped explain declining HIV infection rates, said state Health Department spokeswoman Claire Pospisil. New York introduced needle exchanges in 1992, and 114,500 people have participated, she said. Most public health researchers say such programs have been clearly effective against the spread of HIV, but some argue they work against efforts to fight drug abuse.

"The AIDS virus is spread through voluntary behavior. An unlimited supply of needles will not alter behavior patterns of irresponsible and often psychotic addicts," the conservative Family Research Council said in a statement.

Full article at: http://www.cnn.com/2005/HEALTH/conditions/11/17/blacks.hiv.ap/index.html
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HIV race gap
USA Today 6/14/05 article shows huge increase in HIV among gay and bi youths especially black and says:

Some activists expressed anger that the federal government hadn't done more to contain the epidemic among blacks. "I can't express the outrage and concern I have for black gay men in this country," says Gary English of the Brooklyn-based AIDS organization People of Color in Crisis.

Racial Gap in HIV Cases - per 100,000

Black Males 103.4
Black Females 53
Hispanic Males 40.4
Hispanic Females 10.9
White Males 15.2
White Females 2.9

The data continues also to show that most of the HIV risk is with gay men, bisexual men and their female partners as well of course is sharing drug needles.

The real problem in some cultures in that bi males refuse to think they have high risk when having anal sex with other males.
This is unbelievable ignorance but true:

HIV in Az Truckers
Example of why Bi Men increasingly getting HIV - Since they think anal sex is safe if they don't consider themselves gay! How incredibly dumb and right here in AZ not a third world country where this ignorance is so common.

Across State Lines - Truckers and HIV
Yorghos Apostolopoulos, a sociology Ph.D and a researcher at the Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, has been studying the spread of the HIV virus between truckers through behavior patterns and networks - with astonishing results. Backed by the National Institutes of Health, Apostolopoulos launched a mission to determine in the United States what had already been found in sub-Saharan Africa: that many truck drivers become infected on the job. Alongside a squad of ethnographers in 2001, researchers began to study the phenomena of rural truck stop interaction in Phoenix, Arizona.

The study also deduced that some truck drivers - when questioned about their knowledge on AIDS - indicated a belief that condoms were ineffective in prevention of the disease, and that AIDS was only a threat to gay males. It should come as no surprise, then, that straight-identified male truckers who participate in sex with other men feel relatively safe from contracting the HIV virus.

According to Donna Smith, one of Emory University's researchers, "Many of these truckers identify as straight. Because they define risk as being associated with identity - and because they are not gay - they believe they are not at risk. We've collected ethnographies in which truck chasers are asked by truckers, 'Are you married?' They perceive safety in a sexual encounter with another married man."

One truck-chaser in particular revealed in an interview with Apostolopoulous, "Sometimes [truckers] will ask you if you are married because sometimes they feel safer having sex with other married men. I don't know why they think they are not going to contract HIV from having sex with other married men. I think they feel like they are not having sex with gay men, so it is going to be okay."

And as far as knowledge about protection against HIV goes, another truck-chaser declared, "It's definitely a trust issue. Using condoms means no trust. I carry condoms, so if someone asks, then yes, I'll use it. But I never take it out myself. I do look their bodies over for karposis sarcoma, drainage, red marks, anything out of the ordinary. I don't do anything unless I can see their body. But I'm trained in health."

The Emory research team called the truck-chaser's confidence that he could tell if someone was HIV-positive by looking at them, "a shocking level of ignorance regarding HIV transmission."

One prostitute, when asked what she did if a customer refused the use of prophylactics, reportedly responded, "Well, I make sure I use baby wipes."

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