Homophobia Among African Americans Contributing to Rise in Number of HIV Cases, Opinion Piece Says
The "knee-jerk bigotry" of "black America's casual homophobia" is not just a "mere social failing" but a "killer" that is "keeping black gays in the closet" and is contributing to a rise in the number of HIV cases among black men who have sex with men, Cynthia Tucker, editorial page editor for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, writes in a Journal-Constitution opinion piece. Although African Americans account for 12% of the U.S. population, they account for 54% of new HIV infections, according to Tucker. The "hostility" that many black MSM and women who have sex with women face in their communities make them less likely than their white counterparts to "come out of the closet" or seek counseling or information about sexually transmitted diseases, Tucker says, adding, "Can it be any wonder, then, that black Americans ... constitute a disproportionate share of HIV and AIDS cases?" Tucker concludes, "If black America doesn't let go its bigotry, it may end up sacrificing what W.E.B. DuBois called its Talented Tenth" (Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 3/14).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.