Do Gays and Black People Have a Higher HIV Risk?
Since the time AIDS has made its entry into the world, it has almost always been associated with gays. Recently, this trend has concentrated into one particular ethnicity, which is African American. Surveys conducted by authorities such as Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have come out with alarming statistics. According to these, black gay men have the highest vulnerability to be HIV positive. This definitely does not bode well.
Studies conducted for the proliferation of HIV showed that the number of African American gay men being HIV positive increased by 22% in the previous decade. This is a huge jump as compared to other gay ethnicities such as white and Hispanic. Even the number of African American gay men who have been diagnosed as HIV positive have increased at a staggering 87% in the previous decade.
Since the last five years, these numbers have stabilized though, and all three ethnicities mentioned above have come almost at par.
Reasons for This Trend
There are many factors that come into play for the increasing number of diagnoses of HIV positive conditions in African American men. Here we take a look at a few of them.
Lack of Awareness
Many African American men live in neighborhoods where there is poor knowledge of AIDS and its prevention. Due to this, they indulge in risky behaviors and do not know much about the appropriate facilities of care and treatment.
In most private places, treatment for HIV positive persons can be expensive. There are government facilities available, but even those might not be affordable to some of the people of this ethnicity. To add to that, there are issues such as lack of proper health care, lack of proper education, and low income. All of these might heighten their vulnerability to HIV/AIDS.
African American men are usually exclusive to each other when it comes to sexual activities. Their dating and relationships are often restricted to other African American men. Hence there is a higher concentration of the disease within their own circle.
More Propensity to Sexually Risky Behavior
African American men are known to indulge in sexually risky behavior such as unprotected sex and sex with older men, which increases their numbers as well.
What Care Must Be Provided?
It is first important to remove the stigma that is attached with the condition of being HIV positive. People must be made aware that this is a condition that can be lived with and with the proper treatment it may not even transform into full-blown AIDS. The education must start at the young teenage level itself so that this disease is nipped in the bud.
Along with that, there should be better healthcare facilities and monetary assistance to people who wish to avail of treatment.
If you an African American gay man who is HIV positive, you will find several support groups that suits your needs. BlackPoz.com is for Black positive singles, PozGays.com is for Positive Gays. Do some research on the option you have and share the knowledge with others. You will find that these support groups go a long way in helping you combat your illness.