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Thursday, August 31, 2006

The AIDS perfect storm

Just as Hurricane Katrina destroyed mainly Afro-American lives, a new perfect storm many times worse than that which hit New Orleans is silently occurring without any media attention.

Since 1980, The ‘war on drugs’ led to a massive incarceration program that saw the afro-American prison population quadrupled.

There are now more afro-American men in prison than in College.

With so many men in prison, sex with other men occur, condom use is not allowed in prisons which create an ‘AIDS Perfect Storm’.

The use of intravenous drug use and unprotected sex has led to an explosion in AIDS amongst Afro-Americans, they make up 15% of the American population but now make 50% of all new AIDS cases in America. The Bush Administration response has been to shut down needle exchange programmes and condom funding – these policies are exasperating the problem.

This year 20 000 Americans will die from AIDS, the majority of those deaths will be Afro-American.

America cared when the victims were white, as AIDS increasingly becomes more a poverty and black issue the problem simply gets swept under the carpet.

The Bush Administration, citing religious reasons, continues to cut back on needle exchange and condom funding, these are programmes that are crucial to turn the tide. Prisons in America do not test Prisoners for AIDS as once confirmed, the prison has to pick up the medical cost of the prisoner.

The AIDS perfect storm - another blow for justice from Fundamental Christianity.


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