Nationally, HIV/AIDS transmission rates are rising in African American communities while decreasing in white, gay communities where the disease has been the most devastating. Classism, homophobia, lack of cultural competency/sensitivity, distrust of health care providers, and racism are all social and cultural components which contribute to the spread of this pandemic. Racism has historically impacted the lives of African Americans in many different forms. Unfortunately, racism has also impacted the rate of HIV/AIDS transmission among African American. This project addresses the questions: Does personal, cultural, and institutional racism effect HIV/AIDS transmission among African American in Seattle-King County, and if so how? How dies it effect HIV/AIDS education, prevention and outreach efforts in African communities? How does it effect how African Americans receive education and prevention messages? I answer these questions by defining personal, cultural, and institutional racism, examining the historical context of disease maintenance by summarizing the Tuskegee Syphilis Study and making ties to African American's distrust of the health care system. In addition, this project explores the barriers to education and prevention, the development and implementation of culturally sensitive messages, and the ways in which funding allocations and multilevel support lay the groundwork for identifying effective prevention methods. Finally, there is a discussion that highlights the impact of these findings. Establishing how HIV/AIDS transmission is impacted by racism creates the foundation for developing anti-racist, multiculturally sensitive HIV/AIDS prevention programs, programs that are free of blame and aim to heighten accountability of African and European Americans' fight against HIV/AIDS.


Diseases | Race and Ethnicity | Virus Diseases