One was a debate with a left-wing law professor at John Marshall Law School in Chicago and the other was on a pilot of a talk show hosted by Faye Wattleton, who had just resigned as president of Planned Parenthood.
At both events a black woman stood up and shouted angrily.
That was probably in 1991 when I was working for Pullen.
My logic was based on male prisoners being released from prison with being told they were infected with the AIDs virus.
Based on a study by the CDC, one-third of one percent of male inmates each year became HIV-infected while in Illinois prisons. (That transmission rate sounds low, but, if it existed in the general Illinois population, all of the infections through the mid-1990′s would have occurred in one year.)
I couldn’t think of any reason the rate of transmission would be less from sharing tattoo needles, hypodermic needles or getting raped by HIV-positive men elsewhere in the country than it was in Illinois.
There was no serious attempt to stop the spread of HIV in Illinois prisons then and there still isn’t.
Since a disproportionate number of black men were imprisoned and they weren’t tested on the way out—even if they were married—it stood to reason that black women were in danger. Even if an ex-convict would be willing to avoid having intercourse if he knew he was HIV-infected, IDOC saw no reason to let the prisoners know before they were released into the general populaiton.
And, I’m told, that when men get out of prison, it’s sex and drugs they want first.
So, in those two Chicago forums I stated my prediction.
Now comes USA Today, reporting http://www.usatoday.com/yourlife/health/medical/2011-02-05-blacks-aids_N.htm on the Feb 4th Centers for Disease Control Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report that shows I was unfortunately correct those 20 year ago.
“The rate of HIV diagnosis among black men is eight times that of whites, and the rate for black women is 19 times that of whites…”
The author talks about prison, but still doesn’t get the point I made above. Here’s what Dr. Kevin Fenton, Director of CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, days:
“High rates of male imprisonment are another factor, he added. ‘This leads to imbalances in male-to-female ratios in the community, which in turn result in sexual networks which facilitate transmission of HIV.’”
I guess he’s part right, but he’s missing something public health types have ignored for decades—HIV is spread in prisons and they and corrections officials have done virtually nothing to deter that.