CDC says infection rates for Black women rival sub-Saharan Africa

caines | 3/15/2012, 5 a.m.

Denial is no longer an option

Phill Wilson, 55, is the president and CEO of the countrys largest Black think tank on AIDS the Black AIDS Institute. He has been HIV-positive for 31 years. People are using spin to create destructive distraction the truth is Black women are impacted disproportionately due to the relationship between race and poverty in the U.S., he said. When we talk about the AIDS epidemic, we have to recognize that there are a number of social determinants that manifest themselves in a broader sense than HIV/AIDS education, income, access to health care. Beyond that, our greatest problem is denial. Too often Black women obsess with how their partners became infected in the first place. Thats irrelevant and misses the point. Whether it comes through a needle, a vagina or a penis, its happening the virus does not care. The conversation that we must have and which is not going on is how and why women should protect themselves, recognizing that they are worthy of being protected. To end this epidemic we must diagnose the undiagnosed cases. Then we have to employ a strategy that focuses on reducing the risk of acquisition, transition and exposure. By D. Kevin McNeirkmcneir@miamitimesonline.com