Hiv / Aids : Growing Epidemic Among African Americans

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HIV/AIDS the growing epidemic among African Americans
April Hampton
Excelsior College ILSE SILVA-KROTT October 11, 2015

In my studies I have found that HIV/AIDS is one of the largest growing epidemics among African American’s. Along with the stigmas individuals have to face, there lay the unspoken thought process of “It wouldn’t or couldn’t happen to me”. Poverty, severe drug abuse, unprotected sex, and lack of education are just a few contributing factors to the growing numbers related to this infectious disease among the African American communities. When you add all these factors into one community the results is just that of the soaring number of individual infected from young to old.

Keywords: African Americans, HIV/AIDS, Epidemic, Infection

HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is known as a lentivirus. Lentivirus is an intracellular parasite with either an RNA or DNA genome, which is surrounded by a protective protein coat. This particular virus can only infect humans, weakening their immune system by destroying important cells that usually are used to fight disease and infection. As the HIV infection progresses, the body becomes defenseless continuing to destroy white blood cells. Once the cells drop below a certain level, an infected person will then be classified as having AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome). African Americans make up only 12% of the United States population, but 44% of those infected with the
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