Comparison of Common Traits of Black Women in U.S. and Baltimore MD With HIV

culture found in Baltimore, Maryland regarding black women contracting the HIV virus as compared to the same sector of society contracting the aids virus across the United States is a prevalent factor or not. The paper will compare the different aspects of society in both geographical areas as a method of determining whether the culture in Baltimore can be changed in a positive manner or not.

A study of the comparative traits between the two societies should determine any glaring discrepancies between the two cultures and how black women may be helped by manipulating the Baltimore culture in a prevalent manner in order to facilitate the situation faced by numerous black women regarding the HIV virus.

The world has known of the HIV / AIDS virus and its effects, symptoms and acquisition rates for a couple of decades now and many experts recognized fairly early that women seemed to contract the virus easier than men and according the World Health Organization (WHO) "women around the world are more susceptible to HIV / AIDS for three main reasons" (More, 1994, p. 62). Those reasons, according to WHO included the fact that there were more female mucosal surfaces exposed during sexual intercourse, women tend to have intercourse with older men, "who are more likely to have had numerous partners and are therefore more likely to have been exposed to the virus" (More, p. 62) and since men are normally the controlling figure in many sexual encounters a women's desire to use protection may not be considered.

What this paper will focus on is that very culture which may influence the incidence of AIDS/HIV acquisition in both the city of Baltimore, and around the United States.

By focusing on the culture in which Aids is acquired, data may show discrepancies and shed light on possible solutions to the problem.

Data

The data used by this paper was gleaned from current and past journal articles concerning HIV and specifically women who contract HIV in the United States and especially in Baltimore, Maryland. Recent statistics from that area (Baltimore) are alarming. A 2009 report of AIDS/HIV sufferers in Baltimore ranks the city as fifth nationally in percentage of incidences there. The rate was reported at 29.6 cases per thousand, and even more alarming was the fact that of the almost 1600 new cases reported in Baltimore for HIV / AIDS in 2007, 37% were female and 87% of the total was of African-American descent.

This high percentage compares in a negative manner to a recent national study by the Center for Disease Control that showed a much lower percentage of black females who were reported as infected by either HIV or the AIDS virus. The study did show however that "compared to their white counterparts, African-American women were seven times more likely to be infected with HIV" (Brown, 2003). The same study showed that during the year 2001 "African-American women accounted for almost sixty four percent of the HIV 1 cases reported among women in 2001" (Brown, 2003) which, while very high is still not as high as the African-American male. The reported rate of HIV / AIDS infection for African-Americans for 2007 was 86.7% of all total HIV cases and 89.6% of all the AIDS cases in the city of Baltimore.

The culture in Baltimore among the African-American society could be a strong contributing factor to those statistics.

The culture that is also showing its ugly head throughout the United States may be especially strong in Baltimore. One recent study suggested that "HIV / AIDS risk among African-American women is best understood by emphasizing HIV / AIDS related risk behaviours within the larger context of the African-American community" (Ferguson, Quinn, Eng, Sandelowski, 2006, p. 323). Another expert Cornelius Baker, executive director for the National Association of People with AIDS attended an AIDS conference where he stated "in communities across the nation, young African-Americans are being infected at alarming rates" (Elder, 1999).

The question that remains is why does the black community have such a higher rate of incidence than the white or Latino communities, and specifically why does the city of Baltimore show an even higher rate than nationally? The data bears out the problem and since the data is statistical in nature it is easily verifiable. Unlike qualitative studies, statistical or…