Newspaper Series Examines Effects of HIV/AIDS on Black Community, Families
The Peoria Journal Star on Tuesday, as part of a four-part series on HIV/AIDS, profiled Nicole Fleming, a 30-year-old, HIV-positive black woman from Galesburg, Ill., and examined how the HIV/AIDS "grip [has] tightened on ... African-American families nationwide." AIDS-related illnesses are the leading cause of death among black women ages 25 to 34, the Journal Star reports (Howard, Peoria Journal Star, 4/24). Black men and women accounted for nearly 50% of the newly diagnosed HIV/AIDS cases in the U.S. from 2001 to 2005, despite accounting for 13% of the country's population, according to a report published in the March 9 edition of CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (Kaiser Health Disparities Report, 3/9). John Peller, director of state affairs for the AIDS Foundation of Chicago, attributed the higher rates to issues such as homelessness, unstable housing, lack of health care and the high rate of incarceration among black males. Diana Cook, a case manager for the Heart of Illinois HIV/AIDS Center, recommended comprehensive sex education in schools to increase awareness. The Rev. Harold Dawson of New Hope International Ministries said churches should become more involved in raising awareness of HIV in the black community, adding, "As a church, we can advocate for abstinence, but we can't stick our heads in the sand and not recognize that sexuality exists. A tension exists between advocating abstinence and instruction in use of condoms, but we have got to look at the total picture and education plays a pivotal role" (Peoria Journal Star, 4/24).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.