“African Americans are more likely than other racial/ethnic groups to report ever having been tested for HIV. In 2000, more than half (58%) of African Americans reported ever having been tested for HIV, compared to 43% of the population overall” (Ruiz, Kates, & Pontius, 2003).
Of all races and ethnicity in the United States, the African American community is the one that has been hit the hardest by the AIDS epidemic. Medical and social scientist have long pointed to certain practices within the community which put people of African American descent at greater risk of contracting AIDS than members of other communities, among these socio-cultural factors is, a culture of casual sexual encounters, considering promiscuous women and self-identified homosexual men as the only vectors of AIDS, an aversion to AIDS testing and the use of condoms and the cultural practice of black men who consider themselves heterosexual, having secret sexual relationships outside their heterosexual relationship with other men in a practice that is commonly referred to as being “on the .down low”. In addition drug use and the incarceration of millions of African Americans on drug charges, low rates of higher education among African American and the high rate of poverty, are all contributory factors in the asymmetrical spread of AIDS in the African American communities of the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control:
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