Think Like a Man and Get HIV/AIDS

“… the fact that the book warns that a woman should wrap her “cookie” in sexy lingerie and has no similar warning with respect to making sure that a man’s “ding dong” is wrapped in a condom, or that he has been tested for diseases, is highly disturbing in this day of rampant STDs including HIV/AIDS, antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea, and throat/cervical cancer causing HPV.” – Ama Yawson | April 23, 2012 (Thegrio.com)

Now, obviously all men do not have HIV/AIDS and “thinking like a man” will not ensure that you contract HIV/AIDS, but it does increase ones chances especially if you are African American. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) African Americans are the racial/ethnic group most affected by HIV. In 2009, African Americans comprised 14% of the US population but accounted for 44% of all new HIV infections and young African American gay and bisexual men are especially at risk of HIV infection.

Here are a few more startling statistics from that CDC Report:

 

  • In 2009, black men accounted for 70% of the estimated new HIV infections among all blacks. The estimated rate of new HIV infection for black men was more than six and a half times as high as that of white men, and two and a half times as high as that of Latino men or black women.
  • In 2009, black men who have sex with men (MSM) represented an estimated 73% of new infections among all black men, and 37% among all MSM. More new HIV infections occurred among young black MSM (aged 13–29) than any other age and racial group of MSM. In addition, new HIV infections among young black MSM increased by 48% from 2006–2009.
  • In 2009, black women accounted for 30% of the estimated new HIV infections among all blacks. Most (85%) black women with HIV acquired HIV through heterosexual sex. The estimated rate of new HIV infections for black women was more than 15 times as high as the rate for white women, and more than three times as high as that of Latina women.
  • From 2006–2009, the estimated number and rate of HIV diagnoses among blacks remained stable in the 40 states with long-term confidential name-based HIV reporting.
  • At some point in their lifetimes, an estimated 1 in 16 black men and 1 in 32 black women will be diagnosed with HIV infection.
  • In 2009, an estimated 16,741 blacks were diagnosed with AIDS in the US, a number that has slowly decreased since 2006.
  • By the end of 2008, an estimated 240,627 blacks with an AIDS diagnosis had died in the US. In 2007, HIV was the ninth leading cause of death for all blacks and the third leading cause of death for black women and black men aged 35–44.

There are many reasons for such high HIV/AIDS contraction rates among African Americans. First, the African American community as a whole does not treat the disease with any type of urgency and in many corners it is still viewed as a “homosexual disease”. Secondly, African Americans are not getting tested for the disease. Thirdly, many African Americans do not have the access to adequate health care and necessary preventative education.

Steve Harvey informs readers of his book that the three things every man needs is “support, loyalty, and the cookie”, he has chapters titled “The Ninety-Day Rule”, “First Thing First: he Wants to Sleep with You”, and “Sports Fish and Keepers” but where is the chapter on the dangers of unprotected sex or the importance of not putting “the carriage before the horse” and honoring the sanctity of marriage? I am sure his book is a fine read and the movie is probably full of laughs, but the title promotes the wrong message.

Black men accounted for 70% of the estimated new HIV infections among all blacks in 2009. 73% of African American children are born into single parent homes with a majority headed by women. African American men have disappeared from the family structure. We do not need our women, who have already shouldered a heavy burden, to start thinking like the absentee black man.

 

 

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