The Black plague.

Essay by talldarkandhandsomeCollege, UndergraduateA+, March 2004

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Tyron Holmes

The Black Plague

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, "African Americans account for more than half of the 40,000 new HIV infections estimated to occur in the United States per year. Moreover, AIDS is the number one killer among Blacks between the ages of 25 and 44." This frightens me because my Uncle is HIV positive. Nevertheless, I believe that the reason why political figures, such as President Bush are not taking the HIV/AIDS epidemic seriously is because the disease is not prominent in the White society. Unfortunately, the President focuses most of his attention on other nations. Although there is research being done on AIDS, certain institutions and organizations need to focus their attention on discussing issues, such as transmission, protection and the vulnerability of the virus in Black America.

My Uncle Jerry Holmes, now 43, is HIV positive. The nurses told him that it would not be long before he develops AIDS.

He now lives each waking moment dreading the day his doctor informs him that he has the syndrome. After attempting to hang himself, overdose on prescription medication and jump off a bridge, Jerry no longer enjoys his life. Moreover, he does not communicate with his mother, wife, or children anymore because he feels like an outcast. The virus has not only demeaned his personality, but also taken away his sense of hope. This is why our country's main priority needs to be educating our nation about the disease, especially Black Americans.

To many of us, President Bush is an inspirational figure; however, he is failing to educate the Black population about HIV/AIDS. Furthermore, he is focusing most of his attention on issues not associated with the United States. The Aids Action Organization states, "During the President's address to the nation on January 2004,