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West Africa on the Potomac

By anaesthetica in News
Tue Mar 17, 2009 at 05:43:27 AM EST
Tags: aids, hiv, washington dc, africa, epidemic (all tags)

The capital of the United States, a small, shattered diamond nuzzling the Potomac, has now exceeded an HIV/AIDS infection rate of 3%. When infection rates rise above 1%, that is deemed a 'generalized and severe epidemic.'

Shannon L. Hader, director of the District's HIV/AIDS Administration, stated that, "Our rates are higher than West Africa. They're on par with Uganda and some parts of Kenya." Hader would know: she once led the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's work in Zimbabwe.


The African Epidemics

The AIDS pandemic has killed at least 25 million people worldwide since 1981. Although worldwide in its effects, the AIDS pandemic's most concentrated and severe effects are felt in Sub-Saharan Africa. This disparity has been attributed to a lack of antiretroviral treatment, where less than 1-in-10 infected have access to treatment.

The UNAIDS 2006 Report on the global AIDS epidemic gave the adult HIV prevalence for Sub-Saharan Africa as 6.15%, compared to 0.11% for North America, and 0.3% for Western Europe.

Broken down by region, East-Central Africa has infection rates (>5%) that are substantially higher than West Africa (<2%), but that do not reach the levels of Southern Africa (>15%). Principal modes of transmission include: unsafe sex between heterosexual partners (married and unmarried), prostitution, needle drug use, and anal sex between men (homosexual and 'men who have sex with men').

The District Epidemic

Hader stresses that every mode of transmission is up: heterosexual sex, homosexual sex, and use of needles for injected drugs. Jose Vargas, a Washington Post reporter working on a documentary about AIDS in Washington says, "D.C. is unique in that all of those three transmission rates is high, and they're all in double digits." Likewise, the epidemic is reported by the Washington Post to touch "every race and sex across population and neighborhoods, with an epidemic level in all but one of the eight wards."

However, the report also states that black men have an infection rate of nearly 7%, and that 'men having sex with men' has remained the disease's leading mode of transmission. The WaPo writes,

More than 4 percent of blacks in the city are known to have HIV, along with almost 2 percent of Latinos and 1.4 percent of whites. More than three-quarters – 76 percent – of the HIV infected are black, 70 percent are men and 70 percent are age 40 and older.
...
Ron Simmons, who is black, gay and HIV positive, said he's not shocked by the study's findings. "You have a high incidence of HIV among African Americans, and a lot of African Americans live in the city," said Simmons, who is a member of a black gay support group. "D.C. also has a high number of gay men, and HIV is high among gay black men."
...
Heterosexual sex was the principal mode of transmission for blacks with the disease, 33 percent. Men having sex with men was the chief mode of transmission for white residents, 78 percent; and Latinos, 49 percent. Black women represent more than a quarter of HIV cases in the District, and most, about 58 percent, were infected through heterosexual sex. About a quarter of black women were infected through drug use.

Because the city's numbers are based only on those people who have been tested, the actual numbers of infected D.C. residents is presumed to be higher than reported.

Just as Dr. John Snow, one of the fathers of epidemiology, recognized that a cholera outbreak in London, given its geographic extent, was traceable to certain pumps tainted by exposure to human waste, the geography of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Washington D.C. is likewise of varying concentration. The geography of the epidemic is heavily weighted toward certain wards of Washington, D.C. Wards 1, 2, 5, 6, 7 and 8 feature both high rates of AIDS and poverty. According to the recent study, almost half of those who had connections to these wards said they had overlapping sexual partners within the past 12 months, three in five said they were aware of their own HIV status, and three in 10 said they had used a condom the last time they had sex.

Less affected and more affluent, Wards 3 & 4 are part of northwest Washington D.C., the historically white area of the capital. This racial distribution was created by the practice of 'redlining.' Areas west of 14th St. NW were not to be sold to non-whites, a racial division lingers today despite the abandonment of the illegal practice.

What is to be done?

The city formed an HIV/AIDS Administration in 2005, only recently fully staffed its surveillance unit, and lifted a ban last year on a needle exchange program (a 10-year-ban that had been imposed by Congress over home rule objections). Publicly supported HIV testing has also been expanded by 70 percent. And starting in 2007, the District became the second jurisdiction in the country to support a public-sector condom distribution program. This program supplied 1.5 million condoms in 2008.

Washington D.C. already has the nation's highest per capita spending on HIV/AIDS, at approximately $145/person compared to the national average of ~$10/person.

While there are likely applicable lessons from the San Francisco epidemic (which reached its peak in 1992 with a 4% infection rate), are city officials missing out on valuable lessons from Western Africa, which has managed to keep infection rates below 2% despite neighboring regions with far higher epidemic rates? And, what can be learned about the AIDS epidemic in Washington D.C from a comparative approach focused on Eastern Africa, where infection rates are similar but treatment and awareness programs are far worse than in the capital of the United States?

Full text of the reports [PDF format]

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Related Links
o HIV/AIDS infection rate of 3%
o AIDS pandemic
o AIDS pandemic's most concentrated and severe effects are felt in Sub-Saharan Africa
o UNAIDS 2006 Report on the global AIDS epidemic
o Broken down by region
o men who have sex with men
o WaPo writes
o Dr. John Snow
o cholera outbreak in London
o wards of Washington, D.C.
o redlining
o HIV/AIDS Administration
o spending on HIV/AIDS
o District of Columbia HIV/AIDS Epidemilogy Update 2008
o Heterosexu al Relationships and HIV in Washington, DC
o Also by anaesthetica


Display: Sort:
West Africa on the Potomac | 25 comments (19 topical, 6 editorial, 0 hidden)
Two long and detailed articles in a week (3.00 / 4) (#1)
by sausalito on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 04:30:26 PM EST

Someone just lost his job / submitted his dissertation recently
_____________

GBH - "The whole point is that the App Store acts as a firewall between busy soccer moms and goatse links"

This didn't take long to write (none / 1) (#2)
by anaesthetica on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 04:43:21 PM EST

Good procrastination from writing my prospectus actually.

—I'm the little engine that didn't.
k5: our trolls go to eleven
[A]S FAR AS A PERSON'S ACTIONS ARE CONCERNED, IT IS NOT TRUE THAT NOTHING BUT GOOD COMES FROM GOOD AND NOTHING BUT EVIL COMES FROM EVIL, BUT RATHER QUITE FREQUENTLY THE OPPOSITE IS THE CASE. ANYONE WHO DOES NOT REALIZE THIS IS IN FACT A MERE CHILD IN POLITICAL MATTERS. max weber, politics as a vocation


[ Parent ]
prospectus? (none / 1) (#3)
by sausalito on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 04:53:40 PM EST

You work in finance?
_____________

GBH - "The whole point is that the App Store acts as a firewall between busy soccer moms and goatse links"
[ Parent ]

prospectus == disseration proposal $ (none / 1) (#5)
by anaesthetica on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 05:26:01 PM EST


—I'm the little engine that didn't.
k5: our trolls go to eleven
[A]S FAR AS A PERSON'S ACTIONS ARE CONCERNED, IT IS NOT TRUE THAT NOTHING BUT GOOD COMES FROM GOOD AND NOTHING BUT EVIL COMES FROM EVIL, BUT RATHER QUITE FREQUENTLY THE OPPOSITE IS THE CASE. ANYONE WHO DOES NOT REALIZE THIS IS IN FACT A MERE CHILD IN POLITICAL MATTERS. max weber, politics as a vocation


[ Parent ]
interesting (none / 0) (#25)
by Delirium on Thu Mar 19, 2009 at 11:16:49 AM EST

we just call it a "proposal"

[ Parent ]
LOL, nigs w/AIDS (1.20 / 5) (#4)
by Strom Thurmond on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 05:24:38 PM EST

Bushmeat and what not.

In other news, epidemic spreads to white house.

VEGETARIAN: An Indian word meaning "lousy hunter"

+1 fp, my city has got the aids (none / 0) (#6)
by totmacher on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 05:44:41 PM EST



-- I'll sum it up for yo: You = Douche bag ~ Butthurtapotamus
In late breaking news... (3.00 / 3) (#7)
by anaesthetica on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 05:53:05 PM EST

The Washington D.C. HIV/AIDS epidemic has been traced, using statistical regression data, back to a 'patient zero.' Known by the alias "totmacher," this twisted individual styles himself a 'gift-giver' at 'party and play' gatherings throughout the D.C. metropolitan area. He appears to be linked to a notorious terrorist organization and may be liable for several million counts of homocide.

—I'm the little engine that didn't.
k5: our trolls go to eleven
[A]S FAR AS A PERSON'S ACTIONS ARE CONCERNED, IT IS NOT TRUE THAT NOTHING BUT GOOD COMES FROM GOOD AND NOTHING BUT EVIL COMES FROM EVIL, BUT RATHER QUITE FREQUENTLY THE OPPOSITE IS THE CASE. ANYONE WHO DOES NOT REALIZE THIS IS IN FACT A MERE CHILD IN POLITICAL MATTERS. max weber, politics as a vocation


[ Parent ]
just doing my part ma'am (none / 0) (#9)
by totmacher on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 05:55:31 PM EST

no thanks needed

-- I'll sum it up for yo: You = Douche bag ~ Butthurtapotamus
[ Parent ]
damn im so scared I have it (none / 0) (#21)
by Ron Paul on Tue Mar 17, 2009 at 04:18:26 PM EST

ibang someskankyhoes.

This [Ron Paul] Diary! has brought Kuro5hin back to life! HUZZAH


[ Parent ]

From wikipaedia (none / 1) (#24)
by Booji Boy on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 01:21:23 PM EST

Pozcum
    (also pozload, poison seed, death jizz, Hitler's Jitlers) The ejaculate of an HIV+ man
Neg butt
    Someone who is HIV-
"Poz my neg hole"
    Give me HIV
"I got CSCS'd last night!"
    When a man double teams two negs and poz's them, he is said to "CSCS" them. Origins of phrase unknown.

What a great resource

[ Parent ]

Well of course they're West Africans (2.25 / 4) (#11)
by Ruston Rustov on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 07:23:51 PM EST

You don't think they shipped East Africans overland before sticking them on the slave yachts, do you? God designed them East African niggers with some runnin away legs on em.

I had had incurable open sores all over my feet for sixteen years. The doctors were powerless to do anything about it. I told my psychiatrist that they were psychosomatic Stigmata - the Stigmata are the wounds Jesus suffered when he was nailed to the cross. Three days later all my sores were gone. -- Michael Crawford
Maybe tomorrow. -- Michael Crawford
As soon as she has her first period, fuck your daughter. -- localroger

Yes.Blacks sold blacks. (none / 0) (#20)
by Ron Paul on Tue Mar 17, 2009 at 04:17:14 PM EST


This [Ron Paul] Diary! has brought Kuro5hin back to life! HUZZAH


[ Parent ]

lol whut (none / 0) (#15)
by GrubbyBeardedHermit on Tue Mar 17, 2009 at 05:45:05 AM EST

it's 15%-20% where I come from

you don't stick your dick in anything without some precautions

GBH

Do you come from South Africa? -nt (none / 0) (#16)
by anaesthetica on Tue Mar 17, 2009 at 01:03:57 PM EST


—I'm the little engine that didn't.
k5: our trolls go to eleven
[A]S FAR AS A PERSON'S ACTIONS ARE CONCERNED, IT IS NOT TRUE THAT NOTHING BUT GOOD COMES FROM GOOD AND NOTHING BUT EVIL COMES FROM EVIL, BUT RATHER QUITE FREQUENTLY THE OPPOSITE IS THE CASE. ANYONE WHO DOES NOT REALIZE THIS IS IN FACT A MERE CHILD IN POLITICAL MATTERS. max weber, politics as a vocation


[ Parent ]
ronpaul doesnt likerubbers (none / 0) (#19)
by Ron Paul on Tue Mar 17, 2009 at 04:16:09 PM EST

they choke his throbbing penis veins.

sharing needles is safe as long as you heat them upwith a lighter

This [Ron Paul] Diary! has brought Kuro5hin back to life! HUZZAH


Wrath of God proudly at work in DC (1.50 / 2) (#22)
by zombie Fred Phelps on Tue Mar 17, 2009 at 08:55:00 PM EST

The fag disease is God unleashing his wrath upon the home of the American fag hag flag's leadership and capital city. America is beyond help now - indeed, it's only a matter of time before the 535 fag enablers in the Congress receive their rightful infection resulting in their inevitable death. Unless America repents and turns from their fag ways, DC will lead the way in showing the rest of America what their eternal fate will be...

ur doin it wrong (none / 1) (#23)
by anaesthetica on Tue Mar 17, 2009 at 11:22:37 PM EST

HIREZ – just one letter off

—I'm the little engine that didn't.
k5: our trolls go to eleven
[A]S FAR AS A PERSON'S ACTIONS ARE CONCERNED, IT IS NOT TRUE THAT NOTHING BUT GOOD COMES FROM GOOD AND NOTHING BUT EVIL COMES FROM EVIL, BUT RATHER QUITE FREQUENTLY THE OPPOSITE IS THE CASE. ANYONE WHO DOES NOT REALIZE THIS IS IN FACT A MERE CHILD IN POLITICAL MATTERS. max weber, politics as a vocation


[ Parent ]
fikus = bög (none / 0) (#26)
by tetsuwan on Mon Mar 23, 2009 at 04:37:39 PM EST

= fag

And of course fikus means fig.

Njal's Saga: Just like Romeo & Juliet without the romance
[ Parent ]

West Africa on the Potomac | 25 comments (19 topical, 6 editorial, 0 hidden)
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