July 11, 2012

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

every straight white person, and everyone else, needs to see this documentary

about HIV and AIDS in the Black American community:


It explores [from the Frontline website:   “one of the country’s most urgent, preventable health crises—uncovering the layered truth about how and why HIV is so much worse in black America and revealing how prejudice, silence and stigma have allowed the virus to spread deep into the black community.”

"The heart of the two-hour documentary is the individual stories that illuminate how racism, stigma, ignorance and fear breed new HIV infections – despite the heroic stance of those fighting against the odds to stop the disease from spreading.
But the news out of the documentary – the real revelation 30 years-plus after the CDC first alerted the world to the mysterious illness in June 1981 – is that blacks were among the first 10 people known infected with the disease. That the researchers and the media reported only that gay white men were infected caused the black community (and presumably other people of color communities) to tragically believe HIV/AIDS wouldn’t impact them." end quote from Fronline website]

HIV and AIDS are a global pandemic that we need to treat on a global scale.  This documentary shows that HIV has eaten the black community in the US.  It also shows that HIV is not a "gay" or a "white" or a "black" or a "druggie" pandemic anymore.  Every one of us now knows someone touched by AIDS, and it is something we can do something about if we are willing to face the ugliness of it.  Policy is not always pretty, and this is a case in which the language of an effective policy will sound ugly in order to stem the spread of HIV.  Such as "we need to stop needle sharing". so we need to make sure needle users are using clean needles (until we can stop intravenous drug use).  Or "we need to stop unprotected sex", so we need to try to make sure anyone who might need one has a protective measure (a condom). 

We know HIV is spread through exchange of bodily fluids---that is the fact.  Minimizing the exchange of bodily fluids through the normal distribution routes (sex, blood) would minimize the spread of HIV. 

This is not news.  The only people who seem to be against this are religious devotees who think we should not be talking about sexual exchange.  I cannot respect any credo that exposes people to a demonstrable public health threat, and we need to advance not only medical practices but also public health policies that will help stop the spread of this preventable disease.  The black community was among the first to acquire the disease and last to be recognized as having it.  No more illusions and mirages:  the black community has AIDS and it is time to deal with it. 

This is even the time for an end game.



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