Poverty and HIV in the US

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-15-2008
Poverty and HIV in the US
25
Mon, 07-19-2010 - 1:43pm

So very sad.
http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE66I42520100719?type=domesticNews&feedType=RSS&feedName=domesticNews
Many low-income urban areas across the United States have epidemics of HIV, with 2.1 percent of heterosexuals in poverty-stricken urban areas infected with the incurable AIDS virus, U.S. scientists said on Monday.

In a study of rates of HIV across the United States, researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that poverty is the single most important factor linked to HIV infection among inner-city heterosexuals.

"In this country, HIV clearly strikes the economically disadvantaged in a devastating way," said CDC HIV/AIDS expert Kevin Fenton, whose findings were presented at an international conference on AIDS in Vienna.

He said the research showed there was "a widespread HIV epidemic in America's inner cities."

More than 1.1 million people in the United States are infected with the human immunodeficiency virus that causes AIDS, according to the CDC, and there are around 56,000 new infections there every year.

Many studies have shown that blacks, gay and bisexual men and Hispanics are the most affected groups, and Fenton said this study found heterosexuals in the poorest city neighborhoods are also hit hard. The researchers found no differences in HIV prevalence by race or ethnicity in heterosexuals in poor areas.

The United Nations Joint Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) defines an HIV epidemic as one where prevalence in the general population is more than 1 percent.

The CDC analysis looked only at heterosexuals and did not include gay and bisexual men, sex workers, or injecting drugs users, who are often the highest risk groups.

It found that HIV rates were especially high among the poorest people. Those living below the poverty line were at greater risk for HIV than those living above it -- with rates of 2.4 percent versus 1.2 percent -- and prevalence for both groups was far higher than the national average of 0.45 percent.

"This analysis points to an urgent need to prioritize HIV prevention efforts in disadvantaged communities," said Jonathan Mermin of the CDC's HIV/AIDS prevention division.

U.S. President Barack Obama last week set out a new domestic AIDS policy which asked states and federal agencies to find ways to cut new infections by 25 percent, get more patients treated quickly and educate Americans about HIV.

But the plan did not include any new funding above the $19 billion the United States already spends a year on domestic HIV prevention, care and research.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 07-19-2010
Mon, 07-19-2010 - 2:13pm

It is sad. I'm torn though, who out there really doesn't know that unprotected sex is risky? When do we as a society take responsibility for our own mistakes and own them?

Red

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-15-2010
Mon, 07-19-2010 - 2:18pm

How does being low income equate to reckless sexual choices?

I don't see the connection.

Or might it be that there really is a difference in their educational and cognitive abilities even though there are those who find that thought outrageous.

There is only so much educating via the school system, public announcing, tv ads etc....you can do. At some point people actually have to take you seriously enough to make changes in their lifestyle.

There are a lot of obese people who are low income too. What is the point being made here?

"Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But the U.S. ARMED FORCES don't have that problem." ........Ronald Reagan

>>Luck is what you call it when preparation meets opportunity<<
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-15-2010
Mon, 07-19-2010 - 2:20pm
Bingo! Same with overeating and not exercising. Oh, and how about smoking? How many more ways do we need to relay to people that it's not healthy? Not to mention expensive?

"Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But the U.S. ARMED FORCES don't have that problem." ........Ronald Reagan

>>Luck is what you call it when preparation meets opportunity<<
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-10-2006
Mon, 07-19-2010 - 3:06pm
I wondered about the point of this study too.... Is it supposed to be evidence that people with smaller bank accounts tend to be more promiscuous?

 


 


 


iVillage Member
Registered: 11-27-2009
Mon, 07-19-2010 - 3:17pm

It is sad.
Obviously, being poor doesn't cause HIV, too bad the authors of the study didn't delve in a little deeper to find out why poor people have this risk. Is it lack of education?
HIV is well covered in high school curriculum, actually in middle school as well. Is it drug abuse related? Certainly chronic drug abusers are more likely to have difficult holding down employment which would then make them to be in the poverty level. The other risk factor is unprotected sex, do you think it's possible, in 2010 for people to not be aware that HIV is transmitted through unprotected sex? Magic Johnson sure didn't hold back with his experience contracting HIV through unprotected sex. Is it because people just don't think it'll happen to them, or that they just really don't care, or maybe they think that Doc's can take care of it? I know that people do live much, much longer after HIV exposure, have people let their guards down?

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-15-2010
Mon, 07-19-2010 - 3:22pm

I read this story in the paper this morning. If I recall they seemed to imply that most people know whether or not they have HIV but not so in the poor communities. Like somehow in other communities people get tested more frequently but not there.

So are they implying there is lack of routine health care which would reveal this "status" so they could then warn their partners in the future?

I think a lot of health departments offer free HIV testing. Heck poor equals free health care..i.e. medicaid..so you'd think they'd have a greater chance of having been tested than some poor soul who doesn't qualify for medicaid and can't afford to buy health insurance.

Supposedly they screened out homosexuals and drug users.

"Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But the U.S. ARMED FORCES don't have that problem." ........Ronald Reagan




Edited 7/19/2010 3:22 pm ET by gripcon
>>Luck is what you call it when preparation meets opportunity<<
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-28-2009
Mon, 07-19-2010 - 3:37pm

<>

For the umpteenth time, that is not true. In my state, being poor doesn't mean squat if you aren't a child, aren't disabled, or are over age 65. Anyone else is out of luck with regard to "free" health care.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-09-2006
Mon, 07-19-2010 - 5:15pm

I honestly don't know. I thought I did, before I had a teenaged son, who went out of his way (it seemed at the time) to do stupid and risky things with his friends. He's very bright and knowledgeable, but for several years it seemed that many of his decisions were driven solely by his hormones. Meanwhile, his less academically gifted, artsy, new agey, less "grounded in reality" teen sister seems to be totally in control of her impulses, more practical, more mature than her brother even though she's three years younger. So...I no longer think that intelligence and education by themselves lead to good decisions. I think that's one of the reasons it's been so hard to make an impact on things like the spread of STD's. drug abuse, unwanted pregnancy, etc.

Deborah

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-09-2006
Mon, 07-19-2010 - 5:26pm

...adding this to say that I think many people live in a sort of "culture of poverty" that cannot be fixed with money. We're dealing with kids who have been stunted mentally by exposure to lead and other toxins, people who have been living in abusive situations, people who have always been scrambling to get to the end of the month without running out of essentials, people whose educational level and skills are so low that an economic downturn can leave them jobless for years, etc.

I'm thinking of the recent capture of the "Grim Sleeper"...apparently the man's neighbos all looked the other way; nobody figured out who this guy was even though there were plenty of clues...because the neighbors were all subsisting with the help of a sort of "shadow economy", where taking care of each other meant buying stolen car parts from him and so forth.

Deborah

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-09-2007
Mon, 07-19-2010 - 5:29pm

I was a kid and teen in the 80s/early 90s and to me sex without a condom = AIDS.

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