tv Documentary RT March 3, 2013 5:28am-6:00am EST
laurel. at the start of this strange new disease affecting healthy young americans looks like this a period between the first outbreak of summer nine hundred eighty one and ninety five not only were people coming down with and dying and so forth but nobody knew who had it or who did it now more than thirty years since its arrival the face of aids looks like this but the social stigma of this disease lingers persons get
educated but in the back of their mind h.i.v. may still be a little dirty secret the biggest part of this little secret is its growth across black america has gotten a hold in the african-american community it's it's it's this right here is that spreading out that way right in the african-american community a collective silence has enabled it to spread across gender and sexual orientation african-americans tend to have sex with african-americans it's black men and black men usually it's black men and black women usually were spreading death. among ourselves. both black men down women are at much greater risk of getting age i.v.
compared to their white counterparts youth as well as adults. we began our investigation by looking at men who account for seventy percent of all new infections among blacks but what was surprising is that it's not just men who have sex with men who need to be concerned about hiv says. i did everything possible to get in this position yeah i wanted that you know the wedding of my life was fast and free so i pretty much got what i was looking for if i'm not mistaken alice and p g community clone and i think that's why our verse i first fell on top when he told me i didn't believe yeah because i had all these s.t.d.
is like now. if you go away. you know bad i was my thinking about did it overall way but it didn't go away and stanley's response was going now you know doesn't he does like i already already you know. ok if i get it i'm like yeah. you know i want to get our. and i probably did go get a had day you know i would not think about it because i know i know i know me so i play and we get home and. you know you tell me i had it all had a long. who want to know who won i would have buying. so many drugs if he did you take my calls for me. and i had and you know one time i had to get stats like three times a week. honestly. i'd think not be a neighbor and if you don't wish it was you know everything everything is heavy you
know your day have you very weak and you still gotta get in get it out to get these three shots a week yeah honestly i think. i had three blood transfusions because it it seemed. so that out was an experience both in the self and after living with hiv for over thirty years if i tell you my story. is that all of it you gotta go through. and it's like. everybody's body is different and you know everybody's body is different what i go through you may never go through then again you might go through it twice is worse so don't look at me and say oh yeah i'm opposed to no i'm not opposed to. someone then with a steady. i remember when major magazine said this would never
be a heterosexual disease it would always be you know in the in the gay community it would always been the drug community it would now have a spread to they had all sorts of community well that was false but when people heard that it was all thank god i'm heterosexual i don't have to deal with i have to be worried about this you know this epidemic our investigation reaffirmed that men having sex with men are highly susceptible to contract ing hiv. what we also learned is that straight ahead roe sexual black men are a rising tide in contributing to the growth of this deadly virus taking percent of the population may be african-american but we make up a much larger percentage of the individuals that infected with hiv the any and it is screwing especially among young people
a young african-american the centers for disease control have presented strong data showing that youth between ages thirteen to twenty nine are an ever growing population falling prey to h.i.v. . however we learned of a segment of this group that seems to have gone almost unnoticed youth born with this disease i've heard women use the terminology you know he gave this to me when somebody gave you something it's because you accepted i contracted hiv from this man i was in a relationship with him and we had a child i love my daughter he meant three i thank him and for whatever reason that god used him in me as a vehicle to bring this challenge to the world h.i.v.'s here the elephant is in the room as to what i'm doing with that elephant i no longer. i have locked myself into this anger you know look what he did to me.
when i burned spawn thousand entirely positive i was six years old and. it was on my doctor's appointment and you know how they have a playroom for kids and no one waiting for the doctor and i was in the play rolls playing and it's a crime i'm out the pay room so i guess those who are paying her try to tell me my doctor came out the room and he came and picked me up from the playroom and when we went into the the room i see my mom and pillow clears so me i'm pulling away from my doctor like mommy i'm still in toys or could he not i don't know why my mom was crying and she's like most we had just come in and the doctors was like you know your mom want to talk to us i'm like ok and she just told me she just like blurted out i guess i just passed so like stand up and how she just blurt she's blurted out and so my first question was that always going to die because i used to hear like
a lot of kids in africa dying from a child being made said i was my biggest fear that i was going to die they both advance a way that i could understand they you know there's medications out there that's going to take care of you but you're not this is something that's going that you're going to live with forever i shared with the school that raven. i never expected. i never expected teachers would have discriminated against or even i never expected that administrators would not have taken the time to learn and understand how this disease is transmitted so they wouldn't discriminate against it. so when i went to school the next day and i had told my friend i say you know i went to the doctor and my doctor told me that i had my mom told me that i had hiv and i soon as i said that my teacher she automatically pulled my friend away from me and put up a glows around the classroom on the fact that her knowing that i was hiv positive i couldn't go on any class trip she has to put garbage bags around me like if i had
to use the bathroom she let me use the bathroom or myself choose to take my school lunch away from me or do so factor me being a child be positive she was abused she was abused by i was school system other children started harassing rave and she even got older we to know that adults treated this child the way that she did i mean a child was in catholic school. private schools you would think you know somebody know better they do better that was not the case kids used to make fun of me saying that i have the monster or they used to just that i would get things to me like this one guy used to have really long hair she cut my hair off one day like i was while i was watching a movie in class and all of a sudden i heard says gold. and i just want my and she was like yeah i'm cutting your hair off because you're going to die soon and i just sat there and i love how continue doing it and because i'd just like as i said we've grown up i just felt
like you know this is how my life is going to be like everybody just going to make fun of me but everyone did not make fun of her and that the tender age of six trichotomy oprah winfrey and i was a millennium dream at the time that's what made donal's was doing kids that jelling with any type of onus they would send them back to disney world i went on his show and i was sick at that time i had a fever but i was like oh i'm sick i don't want to sit next to me and she just open arms to make sweetheart i don't care what you have you're on my shoulder i want you to tell me what what do you go through and like i was remember me say in talking to oprah and she was just crying my mother just are crying because man just telling everybody i'm having a child being i'm always sick and i thought i was going down oprah just like well how about if i send you to disney world or something and hope i didn't move on a moment they always wanted to go there and i. hope with them into disney world i
confronted her dad he said to me ain't life ain't life a bitch. you know how long i've been living with this he called me and he was a spike while he was on the show why did you tell people to eat i'm positive you shouldn't do that how do you think i'm going to look so is like who says like one though he just as i when he hears asked why it's not on the magazine or science on the he'll just get upset like he's not supportive of lad. as raven grew into her teens life with her mom became strained the age of thirteen i always tell people i did try taking my life away me my mom started making really auguring like isis i get really mad i had it was just it was a lot to me at that i say my teenage years was like my most lucky i.
got to the age of like sixteen seventeen i had to make realize like you know even. your mom didn't do something but you know she didn't know at the time and i had to realize i had to put miley sense into this like. i was born with that i'm actually this you know i can't be mad at my mother what can she do you know let me make make it make your future better don't don't look beyond the path i don't look at h.l.v. as a bad thing and i and of other youth in raven's age group who are prone to contract in h i v. the reaction of people what being in the think of. the stigma that's the main one i think of the stigma that's why a lot of young kids the skin they get tested me that they discussed being on stuff like that but i'm talking as they young because i'm still in the young generation that you know and that's the that's where the big al biggest problem is that you know people accepting us and the stigma.
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address what have a crisis they are going through because the church was the place that sent us historically the collets the church was the place of you had the illness. and supports you you know if someone died you can depend on the choice to come in bring the food you know to me come in bring whatever you need even help you to bury your loved ones you know i mean that was the church if you would have you didn't have the chance of going to come in and fill that gap for you. but when they first hit black america most family members were caught off guard those two points those points of co fit were not quite there you know thank god some people had great family support. most families back then did not know what he was on they were afraid you know there was not a lot of information there was not a myth so we have that myth that it's not part of me i'm not gay i'm not
a lesbian oh i'm a lesbian i can't catch it. i'm not in that age group i can't catch it yes it is it's it's it's in the house many victims of a child were shunned by close family members and when they turned to the church the head of the state that initially applied to. anybody to come for all that. specially religious leaders the church you know was caught up in this is a homosexual disease and you know it's you know again you know going to hail and wind up going to you know we're not going to address that that he was so important for the black church to be for the truth. because of the black church did not want to accept you because you were gay and begins each i mean instead of a bigger sort of impact in that if you're not then allowed to potentially good it
has. been known effective jeter but if it did your mother your onto your brothers your sisters because they then also felt like maybe they you know mean you were part of that child so in the beginning it's a gay white man's disease black folks it's not out issue really when people were dying left and right by nineteen eighty six african-americans accounted for twenty five percent of those infected with hiv causes for this rapid increase were disproportionately low response at the national state and local levels adding to these external factors was the growing stigma surrounding this infection. and somebody. an african-american has each and that person essentially says the incidence of. silence by family members and local clergy bound by fears and denial only strengthened the growing prejudice against those infected with hiv
every black family has someone who has been addicted to drugs or alcohol as someone who was gay you know so that wasn't a new phenomenon what was new was that we were not about to talk about it in public i had a minister the said to me it's a rule reverend cheeks. homosexuality i don't have that problem in my church i said a problem. i said how because should charge twelve hundred people as a so and twelve hundred people and easily to say that ten percent of the population this gay and lesbian and you don't see anybody so you don't have anybody in your choir you don't have anybody on your deacon board on your ministerial staff on you in your administrative office no way you don't see no one gay and as i understand homosexuality and drug addiction are two taboos that were well entrenched within the black family but almost never openly discussed. aids in the black family
added one more to subject to be consciously ignored many times i would preach a sermon call. family and that would have the family come and say you cannot say that he was gay or you cannot say that he died of aids you can say of cancer but they can you can say he died of aids are you kidding me all of the whole community no. so the way i used to give a round that was i would have remarks come first and of course people would get up and say well i knew when he first got infected then the family would have never said a word it was like the big elephant in the room and nobody wanted to talk about it . we explored internal factors that led to the early growth in the aids epidemic in black america while doing so we learned that silence fear and denial so evident back then as undergone little more than cosmetic changes
thirty one hours later. the low blood. and i have quite a few friends that were raised in the church you know i had lots in the search service. densified if you chose visiting but it was something that i just didn't see. in my spirit and still to come to. enjoy the music but a lot of the other rituals just didn't sink in as i became older and found a way islam was the only way that i knew in one place that i need to go back to. something as fearlessly something a little more religiously grounding. from the same date isn't anything in the koran
actually says about homosexuality being gay it's just a lot of the other. laws govern by the sharia laws you know things that were not a part of the sort of what the profit were practice. where it goes into homosexuality. it being missing. the point i first found out i was positive. like i said i really didn't think it would be possible i was doing a student teaching and i want all my lunch break to get my answers to get the results. and when i walked out of it and he said i was positive it was like i was livin in a fog. but i was in a daze. and i went back to work like nothing ever happened but it did it devastate i didn't know where
to turn to talk to. how to tell family. i was lost. it was my mother father and we were any kitchen. and my husband says oh hi how are you what's going on and they say nothing you know i had him with me there as well when it's all me you know i need you guys to this is why i'm involved with it in my mother was cooking we came in he said he wanted to talk and he came in and my husband came in. he told us he had something to say to us and i told that i was a positive this is who i'm in a relationship with a mother started crying and my father being the man he is asking so it is me your dresses and they bring you little he said that the day said mother was going out and just life floored me that started the whole argument and i just walked out you know that put
a big strain on the relationship. is different it's better than it was there isn't a whole lot of conversation or close to none conversation about my sexuality me being gay or me being a positive. washington d.c. carries the distinction of being ground zero for having the highest h.i.v. infection rate in america all of d.c. has an epidemic because there are unusual consolation as not being a state not even be in city where a cut out all of d.c. is out of them an epidemic level but d.c. is not so unique when compared to other major cities across the nation if you compare metro d.c. that is diminished did the disk of columbia and its suburbs metro d.c.
with metro philadelphia metro chicago metro miami were about the same there are twelve cities in the united states in which half of the people with hiv aids lives city d.c. is one of those twelve cities. we spoke to medical professionals concerning the disproportionate rise of hiv aids in the black community. forty five to fifty percent of our community be done with the disease we know how to prevent it by the way african-americans are more likely to get tested in any group. we get tested for the results but we always don't get into care particularly in rural. areas we tend to have a physician or a clinician who has graduated from school or from college you know ten fifteen years ago when i had to cheat persons or interview positive because it was all you remember the infectious disease physicians were treated so they still don't. know
and they are not willing to. what is the level of hiv training provided for medical professionals the majority of the local hospitals and doctors offices within the district of columbia i think staff physicians nurses ancillary personnel understand that this is not a disease of casual contact so that you go in the hospitals and you don't see red bags outside of the door you don't see signs up there of isolation just because a person is a. host of other reasons but not for being possible. it would seem that this heightened awareness of medical professionals would lead to earlier detection of new age hiv patients sixty two percent of patients who actually come into care are diagnosed with aids within a year of being testing positive for hiv let me see that again within a year of a diagnosis of. over sixty two percent of those patients are diagnosed with those
patients the majority of them were receiving medical care what it means then is that the clinicians the physicians physician assistant practitioner advance practitioners pharmacists dentists did not know the clinical stations of the disease or didn't pay attention. of those who can afford medical care it appears that many medical practitioners are not adequately trained in detecting the early signs of hiv or may simply choose not to treat such patients nobody worries about being positive with syphilis and or nobody even thinks twice about most herpes infections but he seems to carry a burden. that we just can't explain. this fear seems to be borne in not just the general public but among medical practitioners as well we had i had an
opportunity to speak with some young physicians. just finishing up residence and a group of them were talking at a meeting we were at recently and i asked the loads is each of you being taught in your in your program and told them said to us you know when we are at the hospital doing t. shirts and these are residents getting ready to go to become full fledged physicians said you know we don't want to windows patients throughout our positive ok you know clinicians clinicians what's cool h.i.v.'s been a room over there and. then we were stunned when one young woman talked about being in the clinic. and a patient was if you visited both some cookies and it should be. going to another of the police right there in front of us said to her did you feel close to twenty thousands of kids.