Muse Magazine

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

LIFE: So where's the outcry?













Considering that HIV/AIDS is still the leading cause of death of African-American women between the ages of 25 to 34 years old and that I live in Harlem, a community still dominated by blacks despite gentrification, I've been wondering where the public billboards are about the topic. The signage, pamphlets, and PSA's about the virus that I can remember seeing all over Manhattan and on my Time Warner Cable stations when I first moved to the city nine years ago, seem to have all but disappeared even though the health threat hasn't. Kind of ill, no? It's a topic that I rarely hear discussed any more here in New York. That's no longer the case in Washington D.C., according to a few Muse readers in the area who tell me the issue has been on the tongues of black women all over the district since the Democratic presidential candidates discussed the epidemic during the debate at Howard University three weeks ago. While Bill Richardson lamely missed the root of the problem by implying that most black chicks are druggies (his only answer to the problem was creating more needle exchanges), Hillary Clinton summed the issue up best: "if HIV/AIDS were the leading cause of death of white women between the ages of 25 and 34, there would be an outraged outcry in this country." In case you're wondering, the HIV/AIDS infection rate of black women is 23 times that of white. Channel the outrage here and here.

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