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The AIDS rate in the Bronx is 2,312, while the AIDS rate in the U.S. is 339 (Table 1). I became interested in this abnormally high rate and decided to see why these numbers were so high. Through my research, I discovered a relationship between the AIDS rate, low income and school enrollment in the Bronx.
The Bronx has a high percentage of IDU cases (Table 2) that may be related to income. The lifestyle of someone living in poverty is much more hazardous than that of a wealthy person. Correlating income with the AIDS rate seemed logical because poverty is a big problem in major cities. This is no different for New York City, especially in the Bronx. Noting that p < .05, N = 25 (25 zip codes) and the correlation coefficient was .396 (in order to tell if a correlation is accurate, it has to be over .396), the correlation between the AIDS rate and income less than $10,000 is .929. The percentage of people in The Bronx with an income below $10,000 did correlate, which tells that the poor have a higher chance of contracting AIDS because of the various activities these people partake in. A wealthy person tends to stick with wealthy people. A poor person also sticks with poor people, but poor people have a higher chance of being involved with drugs or other illegal activities. Wealthy people do have the ability to obtain drugs, but for poor people who live in poor neighborhoods, drugs are more accessible. It is assumed that people use drugs and share needles often, which is the number one mode of transmission for AIDS in The Bronx.
The upper box furthest from the line is Hunt’s Point. This zip code strays from the line because it has a small population (11,354) compared to the rest of the Bronx, where the average population of a zip code is 53,106. Hunt’s Point only has 339 AIDS cases and an AIDS rate of 2985. This rate is very high for such a small population, so it is assumed that people could have been tested in that area and left. One other zip code is the lower box dot, Pelham Bay Park (10464). With a population of 4,634, it is the smallest zip code in the Bronx. According to the 2000 Census, Pelham Bay Park contains the largest percentage of people who make 75-100,000k per year. In the scatter plot below, Pelham Bay Park is the only dot that strays from the trend line. It is populated by the wealthy. Lowerre, the dot at the very bottom of the trend line, is just as wealthy as Pelham Bay Park, but has a lower AIDS rate. One reason for this is their location in The Bronx. Pelham Bay Park is located at the northeast most portion of the Bronx, and contains two islands. Since these islands are remote, they may be areas of high drug use. Those who are less fortunate and are smothered by bad influences are more likely introduced into the world of drugs.
The correlation in the Bronx for the income from 75-100,000k per year is -.85 (p < .05). Most zip codes do not go over 12% of their population of those who make 75-100k. There are eight out of twenty five zip codes that are above 10%. The vast majority of people in the Bronx make under $10,000 a year. Also, there are eleven zip codes that have more than 30% of their population earn under $10,000 per year. In relation to AIDS, it seems the poorer a person is, the higher the chance is that he or she has AIDS.
One other statistic that correlates with AIDS is the income below the poverty level. The correlation number is .915, showing yet another strong relation to the AIDS rate. A large majority of each zip code in The Bronx earns less than $10,000 a year, which proves the relationship between income and AIDS. Pelham Bay Park strays from the line, but this suggests that it contains mostly wealthy people. It was astounding that there is only one neighborhood close to the national AIDS rate. Lowerre (10471) has an AIDS rate of 341. With only 80 cases, it is the second least in the Bronx. The lowest, Pelham Bay Park, has only 66 cases. Relating yet again to income, 25% of Lowerre’s population earns above $100,000 per year and only 1% of the population is receiving public assistance.
I also made a comparison between the students enrolled from the elementary level to the college level from the ages of five years old to twenty five years old for Whites, Blacks and Latinos. Black and Latino populations as a whole are bigger than the White population of the Bronx. To my astonishment, the correlation number of Whites enrolled in school was .799, while the numbers of Blacks was .44 and the number of Latinos was .58. The following graphs show more Blacks and Latinos are in school than Whites. It seems that the more Whites are in school, the higher the AIDS rate is for them. Blacks and Latinos however, stay relatively high for the number of people enrolled in school. Even though there is a high correlation with Blacks and Latinos, the correlation fails because all of the numbers are in the same range (above 30% and below 40% except for two zip codes).
AIDS in the Bronx is a major crisis that needs attention. Using the data gathered here it is clear that there is a direct relationship between income and AIDS. If the government provides more aid to people, they will be less susceptible to peer pressure and drug use. Schooling is also vital to the AIDS rate because without an education, people in The Bronx will continue the trend of earning less than $20,000 per year, except for Pelham Bay Park and Lowerre. There may be solutions to this problem, but they will not be easy. It is possible for a solution to be discovered within this decade if enough effort is put forth.