Throughout the past two decades acquired immunodeficiency syndrome has taken its toll on many communities across the globe. The African-American community has been no stranger to the devastating effects of this virus. According to the Center for Disease Control, a government health agency based in Atlanta, Georgia, African-Americans make up 12% of the United States population, yet 47% of all AIDS cases are African-Americans. This is obviously a disproportional relationship. The CDC also says that whites make up 71% of America's population, however, only 32% of all AIDS cases involve whites. The epidemic does not stop with adult blacks, over 65% of all pediatric AIDS cases are Black children (CDC). Without continued study and analysis of the current crisis, the epidemic will surely worsen . There are several factors that have contributed to this alarming trend. The social stigma surrounding AIDS, stigmas concerning homosexuality, lack of educational programs and advocacy and impaired judgment are those such factors. Only through increasing understanding, supporting AIDS prevention programs and shattering myths can the battle against AIDS in the African-American community be won.
The word discrimination once conjured images of hate crimes and maltreatment based on race and personality. Discrimination has cast its negative light onto the .
problems of AIDS. To first understand this problem of discrimination, one must understand the way in which AIDS is spread. AIDS is spread through the exchange of bodily fluids. This occurs during sex, some forms of drug use and various medical procedures. In American society sexual topics are looked upon as having an unclean and negative connotation as is drug use. Due to the fact that AIDS is transmitted through these activates it fosters a negative view of people with AIDS (Ernest 25). They are treated as criminals rather than victims. .
When applying for most jobs people with AIDS are more likely to be discriminated against than people who do not suffer from the disease (Fimbres, Lord and Lynch 68).