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Skyline - Houston, Texas

Saturday, August 26, 2006

AIDS and the Black Community

A bill to allow condoms in the California prisons will be presented to the Governor for his signature. Why is this important and what does it have to do with the title of this post?

We may not want to admit it but sex occurs in prisons with great regularity. I'm sure it isn't exclusive to males but for the purpose of this post, we're discussing the male population. These men usually get out of prison and return to either a heterosexual or a bisexual life. They are often silent about their prison experiences.

Here is the breakdown of nationwide prison population by race, gender, etc. It should come as no surprise that the ratio of incarcerated black males to the nonincarcerated is the highest. Some other time we can explore the reasons for that; for now it's enough to know that it's true. It's also true that they're infecting their sexual partners on the outside; often without knowing that they themselves are HIV positive.

I'd been thinking about this subject since I watched an ABC news special the other evening about this silent epidemic and then read enigma4ever's excellent post on the same topic.

I found this article in a 2001 issue of Ebony. They were aware, even then, of the growing crisis. Their statistics are out of date; it's become worse.

Rather than try to speak as an older white woman about this subject, I'll let the links from these Black publications and organizations speak for themselves. Men, women, and children are dying in this country of a disease many of us thought was being brought under control. Something must be done. Of course we must do what we can to help other nations with their epidemic but we can no longer allow the silent epidemic here to continue unchecked.




  • At Saturday, August 26, 2006 9:08:00 AM , Blogger billie said...

    the american denial and embracing of sexuality continues to elude me. having said that- our notion of prisons as the proper punishment for everyone also eludes me. yes, there are hardcore folks who should never see the light of day- but the vast majority of the folks in jail are drug related and have the possibility of rehabilitation. how many scores of black male youths have gone through the system? how is this now effection america as a whole? people should wonder.

  • At Saturday, August 26, 2006 1:00:00 PM , Blogger Endorendil said...

    More recent statistics are provided here:

    Aids rates are about 10 times higher in the black population than in the white population. They made up 49% of all cases diagnosed in 2004, and about 40% of the total cases diagnosed in the US.

  • At Saturday, August 26, 2006 1:04:00 PM , Blogger Granny said...

    That's about what the t.v. special said.

    I was trying to find a more up to date from one of the Black publications with those figures.

  • At Saturday, August 26, 2006 1:06:00 PM , Blogger Granny said...

    Betmo. I agree and I thought about adding that but it would have led into all of the social and economic problems besetting blacks in this country and would have turned into a whole new post (or a very long one).



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