Survey: More than Half of All African Americans Know of a Friend or Relative with HIV

4 Aug

 

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

According to a new survey at Your Black World, it was found that over half (56.3%) of all African American respondents have a friend or relative who they know to have HIV.  The number was higher among black women (58.7%) than black men (51.2%). 

The numbers are interesting and alarming because they reflect the reality that HIV infection within the black community is not being controlled, and it is also not well-understood.  The numbers are likely an underestimate because most people don’t exactly wear a billboard telling the world that they have an STD.  Therefore, there are likely relatives and friends very close to us who’ve gotten bad news from the doctor and haven’t said a word about it to anyone.

These numbers are also warning signs that our community needs to directly confront sexual choices and behavior in a way that is devoid of the debilitating stigmas that we put on one another.  Far too many parents are hesitant to talk to their kids about sex, many women and men don’t ask questions of their partners, and our treatment of the gay/bi-sexual community is beyond embarrassing (a man is typically stigmatized less for being a reckless womanizer than he is for being gay).  It’s time for all of us to wake up and smell the devastation being presented by the disease that is silently killing many of the people we love.

Most interesting is that heterosexuals in the black community are sometimes inclined to think that the entire epidemic is being fueled by black men on the downlow. I find this perception to be interesting in light of the fact that there are quite a few heterosexuals having a lot of sex with a lot of partners without asking very many questions.  Also, many of us know individuals (quite honestly they are typically men), who pride themselves on having dozens of sex partners every single year and don’t even take a trip to the doctor’s office.

The reality is that there has to be a moment of truth for every individual when they ask if their sexual choices and behaviors actually make sense.  Sexual attraction is natural, powerful and pretty damn enjoyable.  But we can’t allow our sexual choices and values be defined by what we see on Basketball Wives or in a hip hop music video.  Making bad decisions can kill you.

 

Dr. Boyce Watkins is a Syracuse University Professor and founder of the Your Black World Coalition.  To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here. 

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10 Responses to “Survey: More than Half of All African Americans Know of a Friend or Relative with HIV”

  1. WizardG August 4, 2011 at 4:19 am #

    HIV/AIDS During The Sexual Revolution

    After the close of world war two the US elite were keen on bringing the greatest German scientist to the US. Among them were the scientists working on biological warfare. They were quickly put to work creating biological weapons. The thing about the Anglo-Elite is that they are very much connected to the religious right-wing zealots. They, together frowned on the level of free sex still going on and the free sex homosexual men were exhibiting. These “Christians” with their power, wealth and connections decided to create a biological weapon that would end the free sex era. I believe that they encouraged the scientists to create this virus that would effectively end open sex. HIV/AIDS was created and tested in Africa using the Bonobo monkeys. These monkey’s lives gravitate around sex. Even their greetings are sexual. They are also bisexual. Anyway these Christian zealots/Anglo-Elite foisted this disease upon society to stop free and open sex and in doing so murdered millions of people and created for themselves a new market of drugs and excess wealth from death.

    So yes, many African-Americans have been caught up in this concocted genocidal hurricane. We tend to always get the highest mortality rate from the machinations of this white supremacist Christian-based society. They’ve experimented on us in the past and you should not be surprised if they are experimenting on us now. They are very devious people. The masses of ignorant whites are as much a victim as we are, but the focus of the abuses are placed mainly on us. Yet the greatest death tolls are in Africa and across the African diaspora and that is definitely not by accident. So what else is new? Crack cocaine followed the AIDS epidemic and very few understand that the CIA had already witnessed crack-like cocaine usage in a paste form, destroying the middle-class of Peru! They dumped it on us on purpose, but of course they would deny everything they could. It just so happens that crack caused a lot of people to become overly sexually active during a period of HIV/AIDS! Crack also pushed quite a few blacks from middle-class into poverty.

    • look August 4, 2011 at 7:43 pm #

      I 100% agree with you people better start looking

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