Wise & Young

Thursday, August 24, 2006

RING THE ALARM....or not

Last night I watched Noah’s Arc, and one of characters, Noah, stated that studies have shown that 46% of Black Gay men are infected with HIV/AIDS, and most do not know it”. Is this true, I hope not, because if this is its extremely scary. 46% of Black gay men got the monkey on their back (side note: the term monkey on your/their back means someone with HIV/AIDS its southern slang, likewise, someone saying that someone is carrying around bricks of burdens means that they have HIV/AIDS). Am I the only one not only alarmed but need to know more information as to how they got this statistic? For instance, I was at Rod Online a few days ago and I read the following:

“HIV rates will "skyrocket" among gay men in North America and Europe as they age. Researchers say the incidence rates for gay black men will become "almost unbelievable": For black gay men now aged 23 to 29, "three quarters will be infected with HIV at age 50."”

At first I was not only shocked, but dismayed that my generation, the first generation to grow up in the AIDS scare of the 80’s, the safe sex promotions of the 90’s are going to have the distinction that more African-American gay men will have such a high HIV infection rate by the time we hit middle age. But then I started to think, and I began to look at the assumptions of the study.

The first assumption is that number of African-American Gay men who are 23-29 will be the same number at age 50. But we all know that people come out at various points in their life, and some men start dealing with other men sexually and romantically after they turn 29.

The second assumption deals with the fact those who did the study are only counting the number of black gay men, how identify with the term gay, there are plenty of young men out there who claim to be bi sexual, down low, or same gender loving due to the fact that they despise the term gay for the connotations that it incurs.

Another assumption is where were these statistics garnered from, as more and more black move to the south so will the Black gay population, cities that have typically had large gay black populations will also have to contend with areas that have typically not had a large gay black population but will have an increasing black gay presence as more and more blacks move to the south.

Now with all this said, I am not trying to dilute the message that HIV infection rate will adversely impact the black gay population, it would be fool hardy to do so, but too often we hear these claims that pretty much sentence you to a life sentence statically and that gives you no incentive to try to prevent infection.

Too often with out hope, or the possibility that things may change, or the situation may get better people are not motivated to change, to see this go to your local project, hood, or ghetto. But when you present the facts and give people options then you are not only realistically preparing them for what may come, but you are also giving them that glimmer of hope that there will be a brighter day. In the final analysis, it will come down to a personal decision, to use a condom, to abstain, or to go bare. I cannot caste judgment on anyone’s personal decision, because I am not in their shoes, but I hope that people are making informed decisions that if they chose any of those options that they realize that there are potential consequences for all those actions.

Just my thoughts

4 Comments:

  • You may change the assumptions, but the statistics are not lying.

    As the epidemic spreads, more will progress into AIDS due to the lack of knowlege that will kill off many men before age 50. In addition, assume in parallel that promiscuity, dishonesty and unfaithful practices in sexual acts is the cause of the spread of HIV. Many people say that society stigmatize black men and if we remove these barriers, we can save the community, I think not.

    Evidently, homosexuality and HIV/AIDS are linked and will be progressive in the coming years. Unfortunately, this will the inevitable destruction of black men who have vile and executing the abhorrent affections for the same gender.

    By Blogger The Captain, at 5:17 PM  

  • I was watching the special that was done on ABC about how AIDS is becoming the silent killer in the Black Community. It's scary that people still think that they dont need to know and educate themselves. To know is to educate yourself you'd have to be crazy not to want to be educated.

    By Blogger Honey-Libra, at 12:05 PM  

  • Yes, the numbers and statistics are very disturbing and hard to swallow, but they are true... Information and awareness is key at this point... Though I think that the captain is full of crap, he is right about one thing... promiscuity, dishonesty and unfaithful practices is at the root of the spread of HIV. Quite honestly, I normally have a lot to say in defense of how we are getting better educated and on the brink making a change, but today I feel a bit beat up by the epidemic and what it is doing to our people... it hurts my heart deeply.

    By Anonymous kennyking78, at 8:53 AM  

  • well ya know.. i get to DC alot on business. and friends ask me if i go lookin for romance or play while im there ...but with the HIV rate in DC its like playing russian roulette right?

    By Anonymous ekxtreme, at 5:28 PM  

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