News24

Black gay males in US worst hit by Aids

2012-07-18 18:11

Washington – HIV/Aids is affecting black gay men in the United States on a scale unseen among any other group in the developed world, said a report issued on Wednesday ahead of the International Aids Conference.

So grave is the crisis that in some US cities, one in two black men who have sex with other men are HIV positive, according to the report from the Black Aids Institute, the only national HIV/Aids think tank focusing on African Americans.

"Aids in America is a black disease, no matter how you look at it," its president and chief executive Phill Wilson, who is himself HIV positive, said ahead of Sunday's opening of the six-day global conference.

"The best lens through which to figure out what Aids looks like in America is to look at Aids in black America," he said in an interview, adding that it was time to "jump-start a new conversation... and build a robust response" to the crisis.

The 74-page report, Back of the Line: The State of Aids Among Black Gay Men in America, says black gay and bisexual men make up one in 500 Americans overall, but account for one in four new HIV infections in the United States.

HIV prevalence among such men is twice as high as among their white counterparts. They are also far less likely to be alive three years after being diagnosed with Aids than white or Latino gays and bisexuals.

What's more, black gay and bisexual men are seven times more likely than non-black counterparts to have undiagnosed HIV.

"Black gay and bisexual men are still being devastated by HIV and Aids," said Wilson, whose Los Angeles-based organisation counts the prestigious Ford Foundation and the Elton John Aids Foundation among its funding sources.

"The Aids epidemic is not over in that population. Quite frankly, it is the worst epidemic in all the developed world, and an epidemic that rivals much of the developing world."

"Give a rat's ass"

The concerns echo those of the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (NAACP), which earlier this month called upon African American clergy to do more to address the HIV/Aids crisis.

"Black people are more likely to be diagnosed with HIV, more likely to die from the disease, and less likely to receive treatment than any other race" in the United States, said the civil rights organisation in a report.

Citing data from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, it said African Americans represent 13% of the total population, yet account for more than half of all new HIV diagnoses.

Wilson, 56, attributed part of the problem to the black community's slow response in the early days of the Aids epidemic in the early 1980s, when it was already wrestling with poverty, unemployment and the spread of crack cocaine.

Today, he said, black gay men in mid-sized southern cities such as Memphis, Tennessee and Richmond, Virginia face not only the greatest risk of infection, but also the least access to help.

Wilson also faulted mainstream gay rights groups for putting the HIV/Aids crisis on the back burner, now that it is no longer a pressing issue for affluent gays in big cities whose bigger concern today is marriage equality.

"There are almost no national LGBT organisations today that give a rat's ass about the lives of black gay men as they are impacted by HIV/Aids, and that's disgraceful," he said.

"The other issue deals with health care and access to health care... We have higher levels of unemployment in this population, higher levels of folks who don't have health care."

For more about Aids go to Health24.

Comments
  • thebe.tau - 2012-07-18 18:34

    First world countries need to create more awareness, and spend more money fighting HIV

      Pulverturm - 2012-07-18 19:47

      Do me a favour and get a life... Yours must be pretty boring if you feel the need to dictate how other people live their lives

      Wesley Bischoff - 2012-07-18 21:08

      Hahahaha Yo Chucky Dumbsh*t, you crack me up. Your little insults are so old and lame. And the best part is... You believe the scat that pours out your mouth. Aaah ignorance is bliss, eh? Chucky Dumbf*ck

      henry.bose.39 - 2012-07-19 09:19

      No. 1st world countries aren't the ones racked by aids. 3rd world countries are.They should pay for their own,if they can't afford it,keep the begging bowls to yourself. Aids has been known of since the early 80's.There's no excuse unless you a rape victim or a bad blood victim.

      merven.halo - 2012-07-19 11:50

      @Wesley, for once Charles is almost right. If people (straight and gay) stay with one partner HIV wouldn't be a problem. The fact that black gay males got the most HIV infections is clear that they screw around (from there the almost right). You can not expect Charles to come with a descent reply, it is not in his IQ category's ability. Actually Charles and Youngster will make a nice couple.

  • kimsaiyanprincess.murison - 2012-07-18 18:39

    - Are these ppl who have no idea what HIV is or that it exists or how its contracted??? I think not.

  • CharlesDumbwin - 2012-07-18 18:58

    The price for the chosen lifestyle...

      Pulverturm - 2012-07-18 19:43

      It isn't a chosen lifestyle you halfwit... You're as thick as your name suggests

      Irene - 2012-07-19 01:30

      Charles ~ Take a hike!

      Anthea - 2012-07-19 10:50

      Promiscuity IS a lifestyle. Monogamous gays/straights/bisexuals/celibates/trannies don't get AIDS,exept in extraordinary circumstances.

      eyesears.handsfeet - 2012-07-19 11:08

      Could not agree with you more Dunbwin. If they or anyone for that matter contract it by means of their own lifestyle because of their own free will, then they should not complain about it. If a baby, or a person that were raped (man woman or child) contracted the virus in such a way or were pricked with a needle or a blood transfusion or even a partner that were married and the other partner brought it home because he/she messed around, then YES those peole should get treatment and for that I will gladly help in any way I can as they are the victims in this regard. But people who has contracted the virus because of their way of living, should pay for their own medication, it should not be subsidised. I cannot expect the state to subsidise my way of living if I am irresponsible.

      merven.halo - 2012-07-19 11:52

      Yes eyesears, but being gay don't give you HIV, screwing around does.

  • james.rossouw - 2012-07-18 19:07

    "Gay" is a tragedy. 20yr shorter lifespan,13.9x suicide rate, 3x smoking, 7x alcoholism, 19x drug use re Hetero's. Sources, Buchanan, CDC, Vet Admin, FBI.

      douglas.hollis.7 - 2012-07-18 19:12

      If true, those are some pretty sobering statistics.

      Pulverturm - 2012-07-18 19:45

      Might have something to do with the way people treat them....

      Pulverturm - 2012-07-18 19:52

      And Chucky dumbsh** will have you think that gay people choose this for themselves

      Wesley Bischoff - 2012-07-18 21:04

      Lol Chucky Dumbsh*t Has a certain ring to it :-P

      Wesley Bischoff - 2012-07-18 21:12

      How is that possible when there are roughly 90% more hetero's than homo's?

      veritas.odium.paret - 2012-07-18 21:30

      Wesley, as an example, when 13 \homo's\ out of 20 and 15 \hetero's\ out of 38 (that's 90% more than 20) get aids; which group, in your opinion, is more affected?

      elewies - 2012-07-19 08:24

      Ok I seem to remember the exact same comment a few months ago and when I asked for links to these 'named sources' you just ignored me

      merven.halo - 2012-07-19 11:54

      'Might have something to do with the way people treat them....' Nope, if you allow other people's words to hurt you the problem lies with you.

  • fdalana - 2012-07-18 19:12

    such a pain in the a.s.s!

      CharlesDumbwin - 2012-07-18 19:25

      lol, don't go there, Wesley will call you a bigot

      Pulverturm - 2012-07-18 19:44

      Because that's what you are chucky

      Wesley Bischoff - 2012-07-18 21:02

      Not really. What does it stand for? A.S.S.? There you go again Dumbsh*t, assuming things.

  • Pulverturm - 2012-07-18 19:41

    And cue bigoted comments in 3. 2. 1

      CharlesDumbwin - 2012-07-18 20:28

      ooooh, we have an oversensitive, drag queen in our midst. tsk tsk

      veritas.odium.paret - 2012-07-18 20:50

      Pulvertum, There you go swinging the ''-got'' word again. It's really offensive you know...

      Wesley Bischoff - 2012-07-18 21:00

      Your attitude offends me... So what? Why do you think anybody cares what you think? They say it because its true, and you feel offended because you know it's the truth.

      veritas.odium.paret - 2012-07-18 21:36

      True? You mean, if someone called you an annoying melodramatic a__h0£€ f_gGOT, you'll be offended because you know it's true?

      Pulverturm - 2012-07-18 23:09

      I see Chuckys ignorance knows no bounds... Being gay apparently automatically means you're a drag queen... Were you dropped on your head as a baby Charles..?. It would explain a few things!

      merven.halo - 2012-07-19 12:09

      Yes Pulverturm, but maybe the dress Charles' priest was wearing wen he sat on his lap made him think the priest was in drag.

  • veritas.odium.paret - 2012-07-18 20:37

    What I'd like to know is why the LGBT campaigners aren't giving a rat's behind (according to Wilson) about this particular group's problems? Where's the 'equality' they're so passionately fighting for?

      elewies - 2012-07-19 08:29

      Oh Bono's HIV/AIDS awareness work springs to mind. And Lady Gaga and Cindy Lauper's Viva Glam campaigns. And Elton Johns work. And go to any LGBT news site and you shall find HIV/AIDS prevention tips all over the damn screen

  • kenjaymay - 2012-07-18 23:28

    I'm out of here!...the bitches are fighting!

  • Roulon du Toit - 2012-07-19 01:53

    It's amazing that people are still putting themselves at risk are years and years of countless ads, campaigns and warnings. As a species we appear incapable of listening

  • janalbert.vandenberg - 2012-07-19 09:31

    "There are almost no national LGBT organisations today that give a rat's ass about the lives of black gay men as they are impacted by HIV/Aids, and that's disgraceful," he said. -- The problem with this statement is that if there are so many black HIV positive men, why do they not cteate an LGBT organisation to defend their rights. If you don't stand up to protect yourself, then you should not be angry if others don't see you! In South Africa the black community is spurned to action, what is really unfortunate, is that the HIV positive black communities in the US don't make an effort to stand up for themselves, gay or not...

  • leon.olivier.92 - 2012-07-19 09:45

    @ Charles Dumbwin. You wrote a article on 24 a couple of weeks ago. If I'm not mistaken the title was -I like homosexuals- You also mentioned you have many homosexual friends. yet by your comments and belittling of gay people I suggest you are a hypocrite of the worst kind. I am very thankful that I don't know people like you or have them in my life.

  • john.loveland.9 - 2012-07-19 11:01

    There aids has nothing to do with their genes... but everything to do with their attitude and way of life.

  • Trevor Lovell - 2012-07-19 11:24

    I though the pandemic was over? That's what the article said yesterday.

  • steven.loots.33 - 2012-07-19 13:36

    RIOOLVOEL.

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