February 07, 2005

The life you save...

Sometimes your paranoia is your own worst enemy. A study appearing in the February 1 issue of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes shows that there are considerable misconceptions about HIV/AIDS among the African-American population.

Nearly half of the 500 African Americans surveyed said that HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is man-made. The study, which was supported by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, appears in the Feb. 1 edition of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes.

More than one-quarter said they believed that AIDS was produced in a government laboratory, and 12 percent believed it was created and spread by the CIA.

A slight majority said they believe that a cure for AIDS is being withheld from the poor. Forty-four percent said people who take the new medicines for HIV are government guinea pigs, and 15 percent said AIDS is a form of genocide against black people.

Dear God. Some of this attitude is probably a residual effect of what we now know about the Tuskegee experiment, but this acceptance of conspiracy theory is having a serious impact on public health.

Black women made up 73 percent of new HIV cases among women in 2003, and black men represented 40 percent of new cases, according to the most recent federal figures available.

The Public Health Service has its work cut out for it.

Posted by Linkmeister at February 7, 2005 02:27 PM

I helped set up a AIDS program at the hospital where I worked. It was rudimentary to say the least but at least it was something.
The only patients attending were white folk, even though the invitation was for all.
Even the support group I attended at another hospital had only white people attending...
I guess the stigma was present even then....

Posted by: Toxiclabrat at February 9, 2005 09:09 AM