Thursday, March 09, 2006

wash your hands first

Bush's decision to accuse Congress of being skimpy on funding to rebuild the Gulf Coast is nothing less than pathetic. Your hands aren't clean, Mr. President. Don't embarrass yourself.

Let me tell you what else is in the Post this morning before I jump into the shower . . .

Read the A2 article about a recent study that suggests that the increase in HIV prevalence among African Americans directly mirrors the rise in the proportion of African American men in the prison population. While other studies have said that half of all men in prison have sex with other men, all but one state (good old Vermont) ban the distribution of condoms behind prison walls.

Then, with four days until the season premiere of The Sopranos, read the kinda sad (and strangely reminiscent of the recent New York magazine cover story) article about the actors whose characters have been killed off by producer David Chase (the real mob boss). Five years later, John Fiore -- whose character, Gigi, died while taking a crap -- is still bitter. Sure, not the most glamorous way to go, John, but I think it's time to get over it.


Anonymous said...

a couple thoughts. i'm curious about the gender issue here. the logic says that black men get HIV/AIDS in prison and then spread it to black women on the outside. yet the stat in the article suggests that it's the black women who are overrepresented in terms of infection. so two options: the study has some flaws or infected black males are disproportionately likely to spread the disease to a multitude of black female counterparts. another: the most recent stats i saw (1997 stats) suggested that prison releasees constitute about a quarter of all HIV/AIDS cases - but they constitute one third of all hep-c and tb cases. so i'd be interested to see if the transmission rates for those diseases in the free black community also rose in tandem with black overrepresentation in prison.
none of this is to doubt the article - sounds interesting - i'll try to find a copy.

Anonymous said...

abf said...

I think it's that infected black males are disproportionately likely to spread the disease to more than one black females. This is not a comment on race, but it is a reflection of the fact that, in general, women of all races are more susceptible to infection than men for both biological and social reasons. Socially, gender norms make it more likely for men to have multiple partners than women and HIV and gender based violence (specifically, rape) is a key factor in the spread of HIV to women. Inside prison, there may be a group of men who are passing HIV-infected semen between each other repeatedly. They leave prison, go back to their female partners, and then spread it to all of them. Five guys in prison might be having sex with all five of the guys in group, but then going out and having sex with ten women.

I know nothing about hep-c, but TB (active vs. latent) is so closely tied to HIV that I would venture to guess that there are some parallels there, although it would be less about transmission of the bacterium (which is much easier to do than transmission of HIV) than with development of active TB (the disease).

Thanks for the link to the report, "anonymous".