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#85: Haiti and AIDS : White comments

From: steven white <stevelong@spyral.net>

 Voiland, Robert wrote:

"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."

I believe that the problem with the handout mentioned is that it indicates nationality as a risk factor for AIDS.  While the percentages of a given population will vary from one nationality to another, nationality does not intrinsically alter a person's risk for contracting HIV.  Before a pathogenic agent was identified, Haitian nationality was incorrectly labeled along with Hemophilia, Homosexuality, and heroin use as a risk factor.  The mechanism of bloodborne infection explains the original at risk groups.  Hemophiliacs now have access to a fairly safe blood supply.  Avoiding unsafe sex and dirty needles is just as effective for Haitians as for any other group.  There is no reason to continue to list them as a high risk population.  It doesn't take a lot of effort to see why Haitians are unhappy about being stigmatized.

Steven White