The following is was sent to Watch The Yard by Tuskegee University.
On Friday, Feb. 28, the Southern AIDS Coalition (SAC) will partner with Tuskegee University to present “Lifting the Veil on HIV.” This summit, held at sites near and on the university’s campus, will address the implications racism and medical mistrust have on communities impacted by HIV.
The South — and Alabama in particular — has a deep relationship with medical mistrust. In 1932, Macon County, Alabama, became home to the “U.S. Public Health Service Syphilis Study at Tuskegee.” It remains the longest and most immoral health and medical treatment study ever conducted in U.S. history. This non-therapeutic study of the progress of untreated syphilis in human beings recruited poor African-American men living in rural Tuskegee and throughout Macon County. The men were uninformed of their syphilis status and untreated for the disease without their informed consent.
The physical mistreatment and non-treatment for syphilis have contributed to generational health problems, as well as ill feelings and mistrust by the families in these communities. The experiment ended in 1972.
Today, the South is at the epicenter of an HIV epidemic. According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 52% of all new HIV diagnoses in the nation are in the South. This is 36% higher than the national average.
“HIV is a racial justice issue that impacts the black community at disproportionate rates,” said Aquarius Gilmer, SAC’s director of government affairs and advocacy. “Compounding these disparities is the reality of persistent racism within and among public and private health systems and stakeholders that fuels medical mistrust. The legacy and burden of medical mistrust was exacerbated by the U.S. Public Health Service’s government-sanctioned ‘Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male.’ Blacks continue to experience poorer health outcomes and decreased qualities of life as a result of this mistrust and racism in public and private health systems.
Despite advances that can improve one’s medical well-being and quality of life, Gilmer said that mistrust among those who require care the most remains rampant.
“Biomedical advances in HIV prevention and care, such as PrEP, PEP and Treatment as Prevention, will not be fully realized if the community questions the motives of public health programs and providers,” he explained. “This convening comes at a critical time as we must work together, those in both private and public health, to identify various strategies — including investments — that build trust. No one entity can rebuild that trust alone.”
“Lifting the Veil on HIV” will convene a think tank to develop solutions for addressing the medical mistrust that resulted from the U.S. Public Health Service Syphilis Study at Tuskegee, and address the impact that mistrust is having on the fight against the Southern HIV epidemic.
“The pairing of historically black colleges and universities with community organizations such as the Southern AIDS Coalition is a major step toward bringing to the table those populations most dramatically impacted by HIV with government entities responsible for healthcare administration,” said Dr. Vivian Carter, chair of Tuskegee’s Department of Psychology and Sociology. “It is crucial that we bring together a diverse coalition of partners headed by minority groups to address the barriers to healthcare across the rural South and to advance solutions that will make a difference in the fight against the nation’s HIV epidemic.”
For more information about the summit — and to register online — visit bit.ly/liftingtheveilofhiv.
AKAs7 days ago
Her Alpha Kappa Alpha Line Sisters Showed up to Surprise Her With a Song During Chemo
Deltas4 days ago
What Netflix’s ‘Self Made’ Series Got Wrong About Delta Sigma Theta’s Margaret Murray Washington
Sigmas5 days ago
This Is How The Brothers of Phi Beta Sigma Revealed Their Spring 2020 Line at Jackson State University
Deltas1 week ago
Delta Sigma Theta Soror from Mobile, Al Pays Homage to Her Sorority and West Point with Beautiful Custom Mardi Gras Train
Service1 week ago
Scholly Releases Student Relief Fund Giving $200 to Students and Parents Who Have Been Financially Impacted by the Coronavirus
Alphas4 days ago
This Is How Alpha Phi Alpha Revealed Its Spring 2020 Line at The University of Houston
chapter leadership4 days ago
5 Ways to Improve Your Fraternity/Sorority Chapter’s Instagram Page
obituary5 days ago
Black Greekdom Mourns The Death of Omega and Beloved Detroit Community Leader Marlowe Stoudamire