In paper 2 I discussed and analyzed the AIDS rates within Westchester and within my zip code. Now, I will be discussing the HIV cases in Westchester and in my community of Yonkers. The Human Immunodeficiency Virus is a virus that can turn into full blown AIDS. HIV/AIDS is a problem within my community of Yonkers. The cumulative HIV cases within Yonkers is 184 and the cases within Westchester is 4,695. Heterosexual contact is the highest mode of transmission for African Americans; African American women in particular. The cases of mode of transmission for heterosexual contact are 276, which is almost double the cases in Yonkers.


HIV Cases in Westchester











Hetero contact


Blood products







This is how I came to the conclusion that the problem within my community is the spread of HIV/AIDS through heterosexual contact. I decided to specifically target the problem of the high rate of AIDS/HIV among African American women within my community. The main reason why African American women are infected with HIV is because of their unprotected sexual relationships with infected men (1). The problem with the African American women is that most of them are not educated about what protective measures to use in order to protect them. In addition, the African American culture plays a role in why the rate of infection of African American women is increasing. Some African American women feel that they are not at risk of contracting the virus because they are in a monogamous relationship, and others give in to what their male partner wants, which is usually to not wear a condom. African American women have to deal with the problem of negative social and economic factors on their own, which increase their chances of contracting HIV (2).

            The solution to this problem among the African American women is to create an African American women’s center, where African American women can go and receive social counseling and learn the proper ways to use protection. The centers will serve as HIV interventions. I would set these centers up in my neighborhood of Yonkers, mostly around the heavily populated areas such as Getty Square, which is where most of the African Americans in Yonkers go to shop and hang out. In addition, Getty Square is closely located to the poorer areas of Yonkers. I would also set HIV intervention centers in Cross County because it is a major shopping area. After setting up intervention centers in those areas, I would go to existing clinics that have women infected with STDs and the Planned Parenthood in Yonkers to tell African American about the centers, and have them attend the intervention centers. The problem of communication between African American females and their male partners will be solved through counseling as well; counseling of both the women and their male partners (3)

            The intervention centers will contain skilled African American professional counselors who have studied African American culture because young African American women will feel more comfortable (8) Women will not be as embarrassed to talk about topics such as condoms because everyone there will use terms that they are familiar with when it comes to condoms. This creates a comfortable environment for the women to fully express themselves. The professional counselors will be better able to understand why African American women have a hard time breaking the barrier they have against using condoms. The program that would be in each HIV intervention center would emphasize reducing barriers to condom use, teaching partner communication skills, and creating positive peer norms in regards to condom use (4). The centers will also improve knowledge about HIV/AIDS and they will promote sexual risk reduction behaviors for African American women. The negative social and economic factors which lead to African American women getting infected by HIV/AIDS would have to be addressed. Through the use of these HIV intervention centers, young African American women’s’ parents will be able to help as well, because the centers would allow it. This will establish a better relationship, in regards to sexual intercourse, between the young women and their mothers, so that the positive influence will not only be within the centers, but also within the home (5).

            The counselors within the centers will counsel the women by helping them with trust, self-esteem, and communication issues (6). Most African American women feel like they do not have the power in the relationship. Therefore, when the women ask their men to put on a condom and the men say no, that is that. There is no argument over the matter and so the women have unprotected sex with their infected or uninfected partners. However, African American women must learn to be firm and not have the men make the decisions when it comes to protection. The men see not using condoms as an expression of love or they feel that if their woman asks them to use a condom, that their woman does not trust them. When the women do use condoms, they use them inconsistently. The solution is to have the counselors meet with a group of women 2 hours a day and have them practice communication and negotiation skills with their partner or with someone else. This will help them to become more confident when it comes time to talk to their partners about using condoms and other protective measures. This is where the counselors would address the psychological aspect of the problem when it comes to African American women and HIV. African American women have to see themselves as efficient in order to fully protect themselves. The women have to see their bodies as a temple that they have the responsibility of protecting. Once African American women realize this, they will be better able to protect themselves and to protect each other. At the centers, as the counselors help the women to achieve those characteristics, a community of strong and confident women will form. Thus, those women could raise their daughters in that way, which will create a society of African American women that place themselves over men and will have a decreased rate of HIV infection (7).

            Knowledge about HIV/AIDS is very important. Information about HIV/AIDS would be taught in the HIV intervention centers. There would be sessions where groups of women will meet with a counselor and have a one-on-one meeting with them in which the women will learn and discuss the proper ways to use a condom. In addition, the problems that may occur while using the condom will be discussed so that the women will have a sense of awareness of what can happen to them when there is breakage or problems with slippage. The proper ways in which to use a condom for both oral and anal sex would be taught as well in order to reduce the risk of contracting HIV. African American women have to be taught to trust condoms because there is a general mistrust among some African American women of condoms. They feel like it can break or slip off at any time because some of them have actually experienced those things. The women are not knowledgeable as to why this happens, and the solution to this is education about condoms and why slippage and breakage happens sometimes (9).

            Open communication is also important because when some African American women are infected with HIV, they have problems disclosing their status to their male sexual partners (10) African American women have a fear that their partners will leave them. However, in the intervention centers, the counselors will be counseling the women to be independent and courageous. Thus, the women will be able to tell their partner about their HIV status and not be afraid of their partner abandoning them. An environment where open communication exists allows for easy negotiation and persuasion for both the male and females to use protection.

            One very important factor for HIV prevention among African American women is making sure that men control their behaviors as well as women because it is mainly the men that make the decisions about condom use when it comes to having sex. The woman is usually passive. Therefore within the program, we will work on having a segment where the male partners come in and work with their female sexual partners on communication and negotiation skills. The importance of using protection would be stressed, especially to the males. This would produce positive results since it seems that the males have the most influence in a sexual relationship with a female (11).

            AIDS/HIV is a major issue within my community. I always knew that there was some kind of problem. When I first started doing research on HIV/AIDS in my community, I did not know just how major the problem was within my community. However, from doing my research I have learned that my community, Yonkers, has one of the highest AIDS rates in Westchester County. I have come up with solutions to solve this problem within in my community, specifically among the African American women in Yonkers because there is where the problem lies. The solution that I came up with mainly covered the social and psychological problem among African American women. Dealing with those problems has proven to be very effective in reducing the risk of getting HIV.