Tuesday, August 23, 2005

46%

I have read yet another study released by another agency that says that all Black Gay Men are gonna die of AIDS. This particular study says that 46% of us are infected with HIV. The study also says that 67% of those that were found to have HIV did not know that they were infected. Well I say to hell with this study and all the others that have relinquished me and all other Black Gay Men to a life of HIV. I have never and never will trust statistics. I will also never allow statistics to run my life. I watch the news like it's going out of style and get tired of hearing about studies. There are more studies going on about how people are too fat, how we spend to much money, how we have a higher chance of a heart attack. I don't believe any of this shit. There use to be a time when doctors told you to take one 250mg aspirin tablet a day to prevent a heart attack. My father took one everyday for as long as I can remember and he had four heart attacks in five years. Fuck statistics.

For the record, I took my HIV test on yesterday at AIDAtlanta and it came out negative. I didn't take the test to see if I didn't have it. I took the test to see if I did have it. Take the damn test. It's free and only take 20 minutes.

I have always been a person that speaks of personal responsibility. It was my responsibility to get tested. I had been putting it off for the last few months for some reason. This has also been my "busiest" season. I have had sexual contact with 12 people in the last year. If I had contracted HIV in the last few months, I could have passed it on to someone else. That would be the devastating part, not actually having the disease.

But back to the statistics. This article is the only one that speaks of the CDC's study and seeks to find why we as black men are more likely to have HIV. But I still think anecdotally about it. I only know first hand of two people that have HIV. Two people. If half of us are infected, should I not have more associates who have the disease since 90% of my friends and associates are Black Gay Men? This is one of the reason's that I don't trust statistics. I can't see the anecdotal evidence of them. The other reason is that the sample of people is never identified. Where do they find subjects to take part in the surveys? Why am I never asked to be in one? I think that the topic is sensationalized to scare the hell out of us.

Now the fact that I am bashing the studies does not mean that they have no merit. Even if they are not entirely factual, this one did prompt me to go ahead and get tested. As we all should. And if you are or are not infected with HIV, it is your personal responsibility to stop the spread of the disease any further.

Addendum: I understand what the survey says on paper, but I also understand what the survey "says" about Black Gay Men. If the average lay person reads this article, the inference that they would get would be that half of us have HIV. Give one of the articles to a 65 year old heterosexual or even a 32 year old heterosexual and see what she concluded from the article. One cannot say that this small sample is representative of all Black Gay Men, but that, I think, is the conclusion that people would get from reading one of these articles.

6 Comments:

Blogger Tim said...

Good post man.

7:20 AM, August 24, 2005  
Anonymous Bernie said...

The actual CDC study did not say that 46% of all Black gay men have HIV/AIDS. The 46% referrred to the sample population that was surveyed, which was actually a relatively small group (let's say for the sake of discussion, 1,000 men). Thus it was akin to 46% of this 1,000 men, or 460 people, were found to have HIV.

We should not infer or suggest that you can extrapolate these figures out to the entire population of Black gay men across the country. There is no such corrolary. They apply only to that population surveyed. However you can safely infer that there are people who have the virus who do not know it, because they have never been tested and are engaging in high risk sexual behavior.

Get tested and play safe should be the message everyone gets from this report.

9:49 AM, August 24, 2005  
Blogger That Girl said...

Bravo! We see all sorts of statistics on the news...but, just as there is one study or set of data that supports one thing, there is a whole set of additional data to support the opposite. I was the queen of manipulating figures when I was on teh debate team in high school. Take the figures at face value.

10:40 PM, August 24, 2005  
Blogger taylorSiluw√© ..... said...

Ninety percent of all stated statistics are made up on the spot. An old joke, but like most jokes ... theres a bit of truth.

Not to diminish the problem of HIV, bravo for not living your life by stats based on a smattering of the population.

2:26 PM, August 25, 2005  
Blogger taylorSiluw√© ..... said...

Oh wait, since we're talking statistics.

66.6% of gay white men are HIV positve.

Non-scientific study based on three white guys I know.

So much for stats.

2:30 PM, August 25, 2005  
Blogger *Madosi said...

very good post man .... thanks!

8:23 AM, August 31, 2005  

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