Why are poor people more likely to contract HIV? Why are certain groups, such as racial minorities, in affluent societies, like the
It is not an accident of history that HIV/AIDS prevention messages and treatment programs have favored some individuals while skewing the vulnerability to the disease towards other individuals throughout the world. Instead a number of historical events generated the current distribution of HIV risk and account for the epidemiological profile of current HIV prevalence disparities.
In this manuscript, I examine the natural history of the AIDS epidemic in one community –
There are 3 goals that I hope to accomplish by writing this manuscript:
1. I hope to show ways in which we can erase health disparities that exist between socioeconomic and racial minority groups by illustrating the distribution of inequality in prevention policy that leads to a distribution of inequality in HIV prevalence and HIV outcomes. The goal of my dissertation work is to help focus future treatment efforts in order to serve all members of a HIV+ community equally, but we must also work on shifting the distribution of risk factors for HIV away from a skewed set of factors that target the poor.
2. By summarizing and documenting the official and cultural responses to an epidemic that arose and escalated rapidly, this manuscript can assist city planners and officials in coping with future epidemiological events.
3. The creation of an anthropological narrative of HIV/AIDs within a large metropolitan area provides a voice to those on the margins of this epidemic and those who have worked diligently as clinicians and observers of this disease during the past 25 years.