Dr. Boyce: Black Female HIV Rates Now Rival Those in Africa
As we prepare to recognize National Women and Girls HIV Awareness Day, a new research study has served as a wake up call for a community that might have gone too far. Â The Center for Disease Control now estimatesÂ that 1 out of every 32 black women will be infected with HIV during her lifetime. Â Although black women represent only 14 percent of the US female population, they constitute 66 percent of all new HIV infections. Â The infection rates of black women in the United States rival those in the Congo and Kenya.
After hearing about this alarming study and realizing that I have daughters that I have to protect, my mind starting racing. Â I thought about the things I’ve observed after countless conversations with other black men and interacting with black women in the dating pool. Â I also thought about what I’ve read and analyzed as a social commentator and scholar, thus coming to these conclusions:
1) We must take a serious look at the prison industrial complex:Â The war on drugs sent hundreds of thousands of black men to prison for long periods of time. Â This dramatic move was no less devastating to the black family ecosystem than removing an entire species from the animal kingdom. Â Women have fewer men to marry, the children of these men grow up without fathers, and men come out of prison without the ability to provide for a family. Â Additionally, the fact that weâ€™ve decided to make prison rape into some kind of joke at cocktail parties means that many lives are lost when women are infected by the men for whom theyâ€™ve been waiting.
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