3 Percent

Ta-Nehisi links to the latest numbers on HIV in DC. This commenter's response is worth pondering. It's not a matter of resources. It's a matter of finding a way to reach the most beleaguered and at-risk population: African-American men who have sex with men (and then women). Black men have an infection rate of 7 percent.

HIV is not the catastrophic disease it once was - it's now more like diabetes - and so we shouldn't jump to the kind of apocalyptic gloom we inherited from the earlier years of the epidemic. But what we have to do is treat it like diabetes or any other serious disease - by removing and tackling the stigmas that prevent people from being aware of their HIV status, by addressing the core problem of homophobia in the African-American community, and by preventing rapid transmission in the prison system.

Of course, much of the last administration's HIV policies were designed never to attack this core problem, because the Christianist right cannot deal with homosexuality in anything but an ideological or theological way. That's why the Bush administration focused more on Africa than the city they lived in. And that's why black men in DC are more affected by HIV now than black men in Rwanda.

2006-2011 archives for The Daily Dish, featuring Andrew Sullivan

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