A Critical Analysis of HIV Rates in the Black MSM Community
Sprowl, Lauren E.
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Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) are considered global pandemics (CDC, 2006). A pandemic is an epidemic of disease or other health condition that occurs over a widespread area (multiple countries or continents) and usually affects a sizable part of the population (NIH, 2011). HIV is affecting communities around the globe, but this discussion will be specific to the United States. While HIV/AIDS is a global pandemic, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that HIV/AIDS is considered an epidemic within the United States (CDC, 2012). There are currently 1.2 million people in the United States who are living with HIV and it is estimated that nearly 20% of those infected are unaware of their infection (CDC, 20 12). One of the most troubling factors about HIV infections in the US is the disproportionate nature of infections throughout different demographic groups. I argue that the extremely high rate of new infections within the Black MSM (men who have sex with men) community is the effect of different forms of oppression and inequality embedded deeply within society and the health care system; this is something that must change.