HIV Rates of Poor U.S. Areas Rival Those of Developing Nations

While HIV/AIDS has often been considered a “gay disease,” a new federal study reveals different results. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that 2.1 percent of heterosexuals in high-poverty communities are HIV-positive, double the national average.

A “high-poverty” community is defined by the U.S. Census Bureau as having at least 20 percent living below the poverty line. The study found that within high-poverty communities, those below the poverty line were more likely to be HIV-positive than those above.

The rate of 2.1 qualifies as an epidemic. The United Nations Joint Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) defines a generalized epidemic as having a rate of over 1 percent in a given population, firmly establishing itself. This makes the CDC study’s rate as acute as rates in developing countries such as Haiti (2.2 percent), Angola (2.1 percent) and Burundi (2 percent).

CDC offers a number of factors that contribute to the 2.1 percent rate including:

limited health care access, which can reduce utilization of HIV testing and prevention services; substance abuse, which can increase sexual risk behavior; and high rates of incarceration, which can disrupt the stability of relationships.

Other factors may include lack of education regarding sexual health as well as the stigma placed on those infected with HIV/AIDS.

Alhough CDC notes that in the U.S. in general the rate for blacks is eight times the rate for whites, it claims that race/ethnicity made no difference in HIV prevalence in high-poverty areas. However the organization overlooks the fact that blacks make up the majority of residents in high-poverty communities. In this study, 77 percent of the participants were black, 15 percent were Hispanic (presumably non-black and non-white), 4 percent were white and another 3 percent were other races.

CEO and Founder of the Black AIDS Institute Phill Wilson believes that to understand the link between race and HIV/AIDS, the study needs to go further and ask questions such as

What are the differences in HIV rates in poor urban communities which are overwhelmingly Black, and poor white rural communities? How do middle class and wealthy Blacks fare compared to middle class and wealthy whites?

CDC will present its findings in the XVIII International AIDS conference (AIDS 2010) in Vienna, currently taking place. Currently 1.1 million Americans are HIV-positive, and over 56,000 become infected every year.

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Winn Adams
Winn Adams2 years ago

That's terrible news.

Diana P.
Diana P.5 years ago

@John Doe: Sorry, finally got around to reading your comment. Okay, first of all, I have no clue what you're talking about. Punctuation is our friend! You're rambling on and throwing in random words (Nazis, big pharma, etc.) to make others think you know what you're talking about! I don't subscribe to conspiracy theories on ANY side because they are conspiracy theories! Yeah, I'm "gullible" from what my doctors say, but I'm not running around spreading unproven information that you spread. I have no reason to believe you!

John Doe
james rico5 years ago

diana needs to do some research instead of all the name calling and reteric she should read about pleamorphic generation of germs and disease she should think outside the box and not be so gullible to what the md/s and big pharma,s lies that are put out read dr verginia livinston wheeler works read bechamp read tc fry book read arnold erhet and many others who have exsposed this lie as for me i am neither right or left but always for the truth before you critize any one you should find the true facts big pharma and md/s are always thinking of ways to use their nazi agenda/s to cull the people as they see fit now that alterative healing and veganism has chellenged their lies and exsposed them for the crooks and animal torturers and human killers they are they are very mad so do you blame me for trying to protect myself i don/t have the money or resourses to fight them i just exspose their lies when i see them the truth is out there for anyone one to see if they want to and are not biased and inteligent to do so whats your exscuse for not doing so sometime in your life you have to stop believeing in santa clause in simple terms when the body becomes toxic and acidic from eating harmfull foods it also lacks oxogen and germs and viruses will form and change their nature need i say more do you get the picture yet or are you like most people just going to beleive what others tell you the so called exsperts

Diana P.
Diana P.5 years ago

John Doe needs to shut up with his B.S. about nutrition and conspiracy theories and BLAH BLAH BLAH. You are the kind of person that makes the world worse. Shut up and take your radial right wing comments somewhere else! Oh yes, and why can't you share your name? Too ashamed of what would happen if others found out what you believe?

John Doe
james rico5 years ago

its not about condoms or being tested at all its about building your immune system the md/s made it contagius so they and the drug makers would be in control but most people can/t understand that the test is false they gave it a life of its own study bechamp then you will know better

Julie van Niekerk

To me this can be called a "lack of morals disease" - not all though. Aplogies for those who contracted the virus through contaminated blood. My company allows freely for the workers to have themselves tested twice a year at no cost. The attitude of many is that they "dont eat sweets with the wrapper still on". Our President, Jacob Zuma (South Africa) is also a bad example when it comes to morals with his 20 children and how many wives and a child from another. Free condoms are available here too. How to you educate them............ it will take a long time!

John Doe
james rico5 years ago

aids is a nutritioal disease when people with it are given a a strict vegan diet and massive intervenus vitamin c ans glutathione b vitamins herbs and oxegen therapy they get well the aids goes away but the md.s will not do that as they will not make enough money on it and like all degerative diseases they think if you have one then you should not procreate and pass on your genes its that simple but the information is out so they can not suppress it though they try

johan l.
paul l.5 years ago

It should come as no surprise that more Aids prevalence occurs in poorer areas.
If you have no money, how are you going to to pay doctors for check-ups!
Many girls turn to prostitution to eke out a living, increasing the risk of contracting AIDS by at least 50% if not more.
In S.Africa you have the additional problem that black men absolutely refuse to wear condoms, thereby increasing the risk 3or 4 fold!.
Obviously I am not saying that there are no blacks using condoms. Educated men would wear them as a matter of course.
Unfortunately the educated blacks are only a tiny minority!
If you read the statistics you will find that over 30% of black women are either HIV positive, or have fullblown aids.
Big difference with the US, don't you think?

John Doe
james rico5 years ago

the same ama that promotes the phony aids scam is the same one that trys to take away your supplements and stop you from useing alterative non toxic cures but yet they see no problem with culling the population with their different schemes like forced vaccinations and forced aids treatments and all the other crooked things they do wake up people start think outside the box

Rana Sinha
Rana Sinha5 years ago

This is so terrible. Thanks for sharing the info.