A people that have survived centuries of slavery and colonialism and race based terror HIV/AIDS represents today the most serious threat to the survival of people of African descent. HIV/AIDS is not only a serious threat to the genocide of millions of Africans affected with HIV/AIDS it is also the fastest growing leading cause of death amongst African Americans and people of African descent throughout the world with the infection rate growing at incredible rates.
This threat ranks above drugs, poverty and unemployment because of the vastness and incredible rate amongst a particular segment of a population. In big cities and rural communities the HIV/AIDS growth in amongst African Americans is unprecedented The growth of HIV/AIDS amongst African Americans is especially peculiar given the national education campaigns of condom use and safe sex over the last ten years. Although African Americans make up only about 12 percent of the U.S. population, they accounted for half of the new HIV infections reported in the United States in 2001.
According to the Center for Disease Control:
African Americans have accounted for more than 320,000, or 38 percent, of the more than 833,000 estimated AIDS cases diagnosed since the beginning of the epidemic. By the end of December 2001, more than 168,000 African Americans had died from AIDS.
In 2001, African Americans accounted for about 21,000, or 50 percent, of the more than 41,000 estimated new AIDS cases diagnosed among adults. AIDS (HIV disease) is the leading cause of death among African-American women ages 25 to 34 and African-American men ages 35 to 44. AIDS (HIV disease) is among the top three causes of death for African-American men ages 25 to 54 and African-American women ages 35 to 44.
In The African Diaspora:
IN the Caribbean the HIV/AIDS is growing at incredible rates and countries such as Jamaica have to resort to World Bank grants and loans to pay for expensive AIDS medication.
In Brazil the government is being pro-active in battling HIV/AIDS. The government has reduced the costs of drugs by creating generic versions of expensive U.S. and European drugs. A major campaign of prevention and awareness has also stabilized the growth of HIV/AIDS in Brazil. Including the government giving away condoms at movie theatres and throwing them into crowds at parades.
According to World Health Organization director Dr. Lee Jong “The greatest challenge facing us now is the challenge of HIV/AIDS. In the African Region, more than 30 million people are HIV-positive. People are dying every day. They urgently need treatment.”
More aggressive action is needed to combat this pandemic. More creative solutions needed as the government of Brazil is doing. Open and frank discussions of sex, rape (which is a leading cause of AIDS growth in some areas of Africa) and the repercussions must be dealt with head on. Cheaper drugs and more money to health care facilities. Nations in the African Diaspora must help each other where the EU and the U.S. will not. This is the key to survival.