Black Americans and HIV/AIDS

HIV In African American Communtities pamphlet-1.pdf

AIDS & Act Up, “HIV/AIDS in African American Communities".

This public service announcement demonstrates how the black community has been hit harder than other communities. The startling statistics of 85% of IV drug users with AIDS, 80% of babies born with AIDS, and 60% of females with AIDS reveal the huge impact the disease has unleashed on the African-American communities.

In this pamphlet directed toward the Black American communities, one can see the personification of HIV/AIDS. This placement of HIV/AIDS as the “other” who is actively causing violence and destruction to the black community helps pin the blame on something other than individuals. An easy thing to do during the HIV/AIDS epidemic is to blame other marginalized groups within your communities like sexual minorities, this counteracts those inclinations. This is further shown in the big subheading “ Black Males, Females and Babies are Dying From AidS” and “AIDS is killing Blacks'' over a shadowed picture of little kids playing on a playground. These depictions show AIDS as a predator that is viciously harming the community and needs to be fought against. This is necessary since it marks the clear and present danger of AIDS in their communities. This goes against the previous notions of AIDS, that it only affected the queer community, as the pamphlet proclaims: “We believe that AIDS could not affect us. We wanted to believe that only Gay white males got AIDS. We were wrong. Dead Wrong!”
This leads to the prevention measures listed in the pamphlet, which minimize the existence of sexual activity. Although semen is mentioned in the pamphlet, it is contextualized as one more form of bodily fluids, not a result of sexual contact. The next two things mentioned nod to drug use and AIDS passage through pregnancy. These two topics seem to have a focal point of the PSA, instead of actually prevention measures that would be tactical to prevent a sexually transmitted disease.