Young Gay Black Men Are Most at Risk for HIV Transmission
1 year ago
Black gay and bisexual men are still most at risk for AIDS transmission
In the Bahamas, a black Baptist preacher recently demonized gay people and blamed them for spreading AIDS. Bishop Simeon Hall of the New Covenant Baptist Church told his congregation that gay and lesbian couples need to "seek help" for the "deadly, abnormal sexual" behavior that they engage in. Bishop Hall was only part-right, though.
Those who engage in same-gender sex do need to seek help, but not because they are doing anything abnormal. They need medical help -- testing and treatment -- because HIV transmission is spreading the worse among gay African Americans, particularly among gay black men.
According to a new report released by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention on HIV and AIDS, the group most affected by HIV are black men who have sex with men. They accounted for almost a quarter of all new HIV infections and more than half of all new infections among African Americans. It's for this reason that the CDC is launching a new campaign called "Testing Makes Us Stronger," to encourage more regular HIV testing, particularly among black men, the hardest hit group by HIV. The campaign contains images of black men on posters, billboards and other advertisements created by gay, black men for gay, black men as their target and will run in cities with major HIV problems such as Chicago, D.C. and Baltimore.
“Black gay and bisexual men across the country are already doing many of the right things to protect themselves – but more need to make HIV testing a regular part of their lives,” said Kevin Fenton, M.D., director of CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and Tuberculosis Prevention. “Testing Makes Us Stronger was designed by black gay men for black gay men and strives to communicate the power of knowing your HIV status as a first step toward staying healthy.”
Some black heterosexual women, though, still, like the Bahamas Bishop Hall, see gay people as a threat to everyone, even though the statistics show that transmission is worse among gay populations than they are among non-gay populations. And gay men are still made out to be the boogeyman in the media.