• Shawn Wilson, M.A.

The H.I.V. Epidemic Amongst Black Gay Men

June is officially LGBT Pride Month and is often seen as a time of celebration for the LGBT+ community. However, not all LGBT individuals necessarily have a lot to celebrate. Last week, the New York Times published an important article that highlights the high rates of H.I.V. amongst Black gay and bisexual men.

Advances with antiretroviral medication have changed H.I.V. from a death sentence to a serious chronic, yet manageable illness. As the article highlights, areas such as New York City and San Francisco have started to move on from the worst of H.I.V. and AIDS, whereas other specific communities, particularly in the South, continue to be ravaged by H.I.V.

The article is definitely worth a read, here are a few highlights:

- The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently predicted that if current trends hold, one in two Black gay and bisexual males will be infected with H.I.V.

- The South is home to 21 out of 25 metropolitan areas with the highest H.I.V. rates for black gay and bisexual men.

- In 2015, of $168 million in H.I.V. philanthropic dollars, $31 million was used in the South, $26 million was used to target Black communities, and only $16 million targeted gay and bisexual men. Not only is this not enough money to address the problem domestically, the distribution of money is not targeting those at higher risk.

There is a lot of other important information included in the article that highlights how vulnerable populations (often poor persons of color) are not prioritized for interventions. Social justice is considered part of the ethical code for psychologists and hopefully this article will increase awareness regarding H.I.V. rates for Black gay and bisexual men and people will pressure lawmakers and philanthropists to address the H.I.V. crisis occurring domestically.

Article link: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/06/magazine/americas-hidden-hiv-epidemic.html

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© 2020 by Shawn Wilson