Ending AIDS, racism: world falling short

Rosa refuses to stand; AIDS continues

cdc-hiv-race
https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/group/racialethnic/africanamericans/index.html New HIV Diagnoses in the US and Dependent Areas, 2018

Back in July 2020, I came across this article. “Ending AIDS: World Will Fall Short of 2020 Targets.” It noted that the “COVID-19 pandemic [is] on track to blow HIV progress off course, experts say

“The 2020 targets set by UNAIDS to control global HIV infection will not be met with ‘COVID-19 risks blowing HIV progress way off course,’ officials reported.

“According to the 2020 Global AIDS Update, 1.7 million people worldwide were newly infected in 2019 with HIV.” The target for this year was 500,000 “for 2020, according to the report at the International AIDS Conference virtual meeting.”

But on this World AIDS Day, don’t blame it all on the pandemic. “Our progress towards ending AIDS as a public health threat by 2030 was already off track before the COVID-19 outbreak.”

Three score and five

Meanwhile, it’s been 65 years since Rosa Parks refused to yield her seat in Montgomery, AL. The problems with the perception of the Civil Rights era of the 1950s and ’60s are several. For one, it seems to have been oversimplified. Rosa sat, Martin spoke and justice was won.

The push for equality started much earlier and remains necessary to this day. Why it took George Floyd’s death for a bunch of people to figure that out I’m sure some sociologists are analyzing.

Surely, we know about the perils of jogging while black or sleeping while black.

But it’s the everyday things that I find troubling. This story of a racist Pennsylvania judge resigning right before his own misconduct trial was set to begin happened to be in my feed. There are far too many examples to note.

About three and a half years ago, there was this blog post by a local author called “Why so many blacks in ads?” Knowing vaguely the guy who wrote it – he’s thrilled that IMPOTUS is going – I think the query was naive but not malicious. But the responses were, for the most part, virulent. Over 300 comments, 10% in 2020. There is a lot of use of the N-word.

Interestingly, the complaints aren’t all from the US. “My father fought in wwll for white British people this is our country and feel we are getting pushed out by black people ..their are to many black people in adverts.” It’s so comforting that racism and bad grammar are international.

The point is…

We ain’t there yet. We still need to work to eradicate these scourges. And, as you can see in the graphic from 2018, there is a relationship between race (systemic racism?) and HIV. AIDS is defeatable. And racism… well, I’m not so sure, but we need to keep on trying.