|I thought we're suppose to be learning about aids. It seems we're being stressed with computers.|
|Project 1- Original Data||
* = reference to my resources
HIV: Human Immune Deficiency
HIV-1: A direct fluid transmitted disease that attacks the T- cells in humans; leaving
the victim subjected to any other disease.
HIV-2: A more rare form of HIV-1, which is found mainly in West Africa. This type
attacks human more slowly.
AIDS: (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome) a later stage of HIV when it becomes
The HIV/ AIDS epidemic is pretty staggering. Plenty of information
concerning this topic is often hidden and obscured. Yet it is found in the obvious and obscure of places.
When I was first approached by the HIV/ AIDS issues, I had a basic
knowledge of the subject matter. Having been jumpstarted by a few trivial questions concerning cumulative AID cases in my region these were formulated opinions composed of my research.
I guessed with in the same ball park of how many cumulative AID cases had been diagnosed within my zip code, 10472 (Bronx, NY- “Bronx River”) since 1980. It is about 1500 cases and I guessed 2000 cases. I guessed blindly. I was thinking more of how many persons have contracted HIV still living in that area. I believe I was prone to guess high because of what I believed before to be excessive awareness of HIV/ AIDS.
When asked how many of those cases were Hispanic, I guessed 30%, because in my area code they tend to keep quiet to themselves and apparently hide their numbers. Hispanics make up over 65% of cumulative AID cases in Bronx River; numbering two thirds and unfortunately still counting. Eventually one realizes the numbers of cumulative AID cases in Bronx River are staggering!
Interesting enough I believed that transmission of HIV/ AIDS was mainly through heterosexual transmission about 90%. It turns heterosexual transmissions in Bronx River is under 20%. I believed this was the case because being gay is s taboo in my neighborhood simply from my observational experience. I also neglected needles (IDU) in my hypothesis simply because that mode of transmission is not as stressed as the others. Well it should be, because it makes up approximately 55% of the mode of transmission.
I had originally assumed that the neighborhood Hunts Point, Zip code 10474, would have more cases in respect to it being known as the destination for prostitution. But I was wrong. Its rates, shown above, are relatively moderate. It’s actually 10456- Mott Haven, which happens to be next to Hunts Point. My area code, 10472, rates didn’t compare well neither (it’s actually worse than Hunts Point).
I guessed high in heterosexual transmission although it was low, because I was unaware that aids in the U.S. is primarily a white homosexual male epidemic (although that’s not the case in my neighborhood). I thought aids would have been more spread out on the data table in terms of gender, but it is primarily a gay male disease. Although it’s mostly homosexual males who have this disease, the general public must realize that HIV does not discriminate against race, gender or lifestyle. Other than sex, HIV is also transmitted through sharing needles and blood transfusions.
Ironically HIV/ AIDS is not discussed over the media as far as I can recall,
but the subject of drugs and rehab are continuously stressed by simply living in the city. Mode of this knowledge is passed by peers, elders and personal observation of people doing time in respects to their handling of illegal drugs. After living in the city for a while, it is pretty clear that illegal drugs are being handled. Maybe the media can only cover so much on HIV/ AIDS because the medical and government officials holding this data guard heavy restrictions to this information. This is quite unfortunate, but perhaps classifying the information allows victims of this disease to be more forthcoming.
However restricted the media may be in NYC the public addresses the information however they can, either through the annual AIDS walk or the innovative NYC condoms of 2007 pronounced by Mayor Bloomberg.
During my High school years, drugs and sex was stressed enormously inside
and outside of class. I was required to take health for one term. STD/ STI were a main focus for half that term. The rest of that term was split between reproduction, drugs and well being. We spent about week on HIV/ AIDS alone, which included a true story based movie about a lady in Brooklyn (45 minutes away also in NYC) who contracted AIDS from IDU. Toward the end of the movie she led an AID memorial dedicated to passed victims and passed out condoms daily where ever she traveled to prevent the deadly disease. At the time I was growing impatient with the study of sexually transmitted disease and infection. The course was filled with knowledge on prevention, and was down the hall from the nurse who passed out condoms. On top of that health class I was part of Art & Design’s SPARK program, since freshman year, which also passed out condoms. The SPARK program focused on health all year long. SPARK participated in NYC annual AIDS walk elongated with events of “Operation Fairy Dust” and bannered seasonal health awareness topics around the school Mayor Bloomberg even paid a visit and named High School of Art & Design to be one of NYC top drug and violence free schools. Under its state’s law NYC is required to adequately inform students about sex, drug and disease information from kindergarten through High school. In NYC the problems are more imminent compared to the state as addressed on previous chart rates.
A community exists in the heart of Bronx River Projects. With in this
community there is a weekly discussion on self awareness. After attending a few of these discussions, I was vividly made aware of how drastic HIV/ AIDS cases were in the Bronx. The orator gave many anecdotes of how he avoided it by choosing not to commit intercourse at a time he didn’t have a condom, while the potential female partner died months later. He also mentioned a former friend who was very promiscuous and who he hadn’t seen in a long time found heavily ill. It was suspected that he had the “monster” as dubbed by local vernacular. Even then his familiar friend didn’t admit to any such possibility, but instead he was said to be behaving in a bachelor style. Self precaution was taught at this center. The orator even mentioned how people in relationships are very cautious in the beginning, but become more comfortable when the couple feel they’ve been together for respective amount of time. I am pretty sure condoms were available at the Bronx River Community Center. This may have been what triggered my ball park hypothesis earlier in my research. After watching and reading Randy Shilts’ story “And the Band Played on” really tied the origin of AIDS together in terms of politics and scientific research. It addressed the case on a detailed international level on many aspects as opposed to my respectable localized information.