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#76: Haiti and AIDS : M-V Aristide replies to Voiland

From: Marx-Vilaire Aristide <aristide@myself.com>

Voiland writes: 
> Is someone saying that this is a prejudicial statement, since there is a
> high incidence of HIV in Haiti?  I worker there, I have seen it.

Voiland, it is NOT prejudicial to say that Haiti has a high incidence of
HIV. The problem, just as it was with the FDA and CDC, is the
stigmatization of Haitians, on the singular criterion of where they were
born, as more likely than others to have HIV. High HIV incidence
notwithstanding, Haitians DO NOT have HIV because they are Haitians. OK?
The statement reads:

>Here is a list of people who are at high risk of HIV infection:
*    Men who have sex with other men.
*    Anyone who has multiple sex partners.
*    Anyone who has sex with a prostitute.
*    Anyone who shares needles using illegal injected drugs.
*    Anyone who exchanges sex for drugs or money.
*    Anyone who has a sexually transmitted disease.
*    Anyone who has lived or was born in an area where HIV infection is
common, such as Haiti.

Thus, according to this statement, there those who are at high risk due
to their lifestyles and behaviors, and then there are those Haitians,
whose only crime was to have been born of the wrong nationality. Does it
make sense to you that one's nationality or place of residence be the
sole criterion for determining HIV high risk status. Has it been
scientifically determined that Haitians, on the basis of their
nationality alone is a high risk category? Have all factors been
isolated to conclude that when Haitians have HIV/AIDS, it is not due to
high risk behavioral issues, but due to where they were born? And what
does the group which published this "information" know that the FDA and
CDC overlooked when they decided to drop their PREJUDICIAL policies of
using a person's nationality as a benchmark for determining high risk
HIV status?

For your information, New York City also has very high rates of HIV and
AIDS....  Oh, well, I suppose if we look closely enough we can say that,
ehem, well that too is attributable to the many diaspora Haitians who
inhabit the Big Apple. But then, it would be perilously difficult to
explain San Francisco, Washington, DC, Baltimore, Bangkok, ...? 

Do you think you'll ever see the day when a brochure of any type
categorizes New Yorkers as at high risk for HIV/AIDS simply because they
live or were born in New York? Hint: don't bet your lunch money!

Marx-Vilaire Aristide