Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published in 2011 shows that although African Americans make up roughly 14 percent of the U.S. population, in 2009 they accounted for a disproportionate 44 percent of new HIV infections. One in 16 black men today will be diagnosed with HIV at some point in their lives. Two-thirds of new HIV cases in women occur among black women. Among adolescents, blacks account for 70 percent of new cases.
Endgame: AIDS in Black America, a special Frontline presentation airing on PBS stations Tuesday, July 10, at 9 p.m., personalizes those devastating statistics. Just one of the stories it includes is that of retired nurse and divorcee Nel Davis. She contracted HIV from her husband, who was diagnosed a year before they were married. From Everydayhealth.com:
One morning months later, as Davis was making the bed, her husband’s Bible fell to the floor, an opened envelope slipped from between the pages. Davis drew the paper from its envelope. She stared down at the results of an HIV test her husband had taken in 2003, a year before they were married, stating that he was HIV positive. Having felt ill as early as their honeymoon at Disney World, Davis knew what that meant for her own health.
“During all that time taking care of others, HIV-AIDS just wasn’t really a health concern of mine,” said Davis, whose background as a nurse didn’t prepare her. It “was basically not something I worried about because of the lifestyle that I lived, which was not risky. I’d heard about it, but personally, I did not educate myself to it because my view on that was, ‘Well, that would never happen to me.’ “
Watch the trailer here: