7.13.2012

The Current State of HIV in America // Free STD Testing







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 AIDS in Black America: The World’s 16th Worst Epidemic

Catch Frontline's Sepcial, Endgame, AIDS in Black America, on HIV in America, a provocative and informative review of HIV and where we stand. 
Topics include:
  • The tragic timing of crack cocaine coinciding with the spread of HIV (addicts trading sex for crack)
  • Every 10 minutes, someone in the U.S. contracts HIV. Half are black.
  • President Bush is the first President - after years of congressional resistance to hearing the drums beat - to allocate serious money ($15 billion) to Africa and the Caribbean in the AIDS/HIV fight
  • Prison facilities still refusing to distribute condoms in prison because "sex is not permitted," hence, a breeding ground for those recidivists who return to their home community, spread the virus, then return to prison, and on and on.
  • Black churches resistance to acknowledging the HIV impact on their community members and an overall prevailing stigma of homosexuality.
  • Clean needle exchange (an illegal and underground operation) programs and their effectiveness
  • Possession of crack yields a criminal penalty (incarceration) 100 times that of cocaine
  • Young people born with HIV
  • Why people still won't get tested
  • Lack of current antiretroviral medicine available to uninsured, poor, and rural HIV persons (with the Southern US region taking the largest hit)
  • AIDS is the leading cause of death for African American women ages 25 to 34. African American men are 6 times more likely to become infected than other men. And the rate of deaths from AIDS is 10 times higher for black Americans than for whites.

"The silence that surrounds the virus is a theme that permeates the film. And that’s not just about the fact that people who have the virus are keeping silent, but it’s also the silence of others unwilling to push the issue or to talk about it." 

Former NAACP President, and Civil Rights leader, Julian Bond:


"I think for black Americans, who I’m sorry to say are among the most homophobic among all Americans — partly because we are religious and our religion teaches us that homosexuality is an abomination, and that it is also something that you can get rid of if you want to; you can decide not to be gay, and therefore why don’t you? — I think in our universe, gay people were white people. And even though we surely knew black gay people — every church has gay people in it, and these are people who are known and well liked and even loved: maybe the choir master, maybe the choir director — but somehow or another we compartmentalize who these people are and put them aside and don’t think of them as part of the population we’re talking about.
So I think we thought about AIDS as afflicting only white people, and then only white gay people, and there were no black gay people."
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AND THE BAND PLAYED ON

1993
 HBO Originals Film highlighting the narrative surrounding the discovery,rise and spread of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in America.
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FREE STD testing in Escondido

People ages 13 to 24 can get free testing for sexually transmitted diseases at 3 p.m. July 27.
Organizers say testing is painless ---- a mouth swab with no blood drawn ---- and that results, which are anonymous, will be ready in 20 minutes. And all participants will get a free gift card.
This program is funded by the Health & Human Services Office of Minority Health, and tests will be given at the Escondido Education Compact, 2247 E. Valley Parkway.
There will also be information available about where people can find health services, HIV/AIDS transmission and pregnancy prevention.
For details, visit ncsdofftherecord.org.