Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2019-07-10
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

AIDS: Why is the Black Community Still Contracting HIV?
by Cleo Manago
2011-12-14

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


As a first-hand eyewitness to the rising of America's Black HIV/AIDS industry, starting in the mid 1980s, this topic is very poignant to me. Almost 30 years ago, based on Black AIDS programs observed, I literally predicted that HIV would likely be in our communities for an unparalleled amount of time.

I vividly remember, while in my early 20s, Black Brothers dying in droves. Legions of once vital, now terrified young males were filling hospital beds, hospices and cemeteries. It was a virtual hell-o-cost.

Many Black communities were already stressed by the challenges of the day ( e.g. police brutality, high unemployment, problematic media images, a crack epidemic, being stigmatized for being Black and other social problems ) . African Americans, an identity we were just beginning to grapple with, had never in history directly dealt with issues related to same-gender-loving ( SGL ) or bisexual Black men.

Alarmed in my own way in 1986, I attempted to stem the HIV tide, beginning with a speech I gave at an HIV/AIDS conference held in San Francisco. I was invited to speak by the late Black, Puerto Rican, AIDS treatment pioneer Dr. German Maisonette. This was my first time publicly speaking on the issue. My topic was "Effectively Bringing HIV Prevention to Diverse Black Communities."

During my talk, I expressed to the audience that while it was important that gay-identified people continue to get proper resources, a more dimensional approach—in terms of identity, education and outreach—was needed to attract diverse Black people to AIDS-related services. I went on to mention that many Black males at HIV sexual risk did not identify with, or as, gay. I strongly urged them to consider this when rolling out Black prevention and care programs, so as not to alienate people needing prevention services. If not, many would continue to get infected, and there was a risk to Black women.

I was heckled. Someone called me "homophobic" and a "race baiter." These remarks noticeably came from behind a banner that said "Black and White Men Together ( BWMT ) ." BWMT was an organization founded in San Francisco by a white man for white men with a sexual fetish for Black men. The largely white gay male audience, with a smattering of Black men, all of whom were wrapped around white men, did not want to hear what I was saying. They had no interest in anything that wasn't gay identity focused, or Black focused and especially that included women.

As I left the podium, Dr. Maisonette saw the disappointment on my face. I sat next to him, and he said, "Cleo, they don't understand Black communities. You may have to launch your recommended approach." In 1989, I would establish both the Black Men's Xchange ( BMX ) and the first African American AIDS prevention Institute in the state ( possibly the country ) . I named it the "AmASSI Wellness and Cultural Center." AmASSI stands for the African, American Advocacy, Support-Services and Survival Institute.

For years, despite BMX and AmASSI's unique capacity to attract and serve diverse Black men, we were treated like pariahs. Just like among the hecklers at that San Francisco conference, work that affirmed being Black and related struggles not solely focused on gay identity was not valued.

In 1994, I successfully developed and piloted an HIV-prevention strategy called Critical Thinking and Cultural Affirmation ( CTCA ) . Just recently, in 2010, it was recognized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( CDC ) as a "promising" Black community HIV intervention. In four more years it may be considered to fill America's gap in efficient, culturally responsive, African-American designed, HIV-prevention methodologies.

In 1986, BWMT was granted millions in federal resources by the CDC for their "National Task Force on AIDS Prevention ( NTFAP ) ." NFTAP was the nation's first project funded to provide HIV prevention services to gay-identified Black men in America. However, some years later, due to the organization's mismanagement of funds and inability to reach Black men, it was defunded and closed.

The Black community still has HIV because America has never had an efficient and Black culturally responsive, HIV-prevention model, policy, campaign, leadership or agenda—in 30 years. Given that we live in a modern society, this may be difficult to believe. Yet, we also have our first Black president. But even President Obama has had to tip around African American issues not to offend non-Black people. The HIV/AIDS issue has suffered from a similar phenomenon among its self-selected and inefficient leadership.

Preventing HIV among African Americans, especially males ( which protects women as well ) , requires specific and skilled focus on the mastery of risk-reducing behavior change, and guiding people toward dignity and vigilance toward valuing risky sex related impulse control to protect themselves. This is exactly what CTCA does. Accountability, skilled leadership, and culturally affirming strategies will make HIV a thing of the past.

Cleo Manago is a behavioral health specialist, writer, public speaker, CEO and founder of the Black Men's Xchange ( BMX ) and the AmASSI Centers for Wellness, Education and Culture. Contact him at Cleo@AmASSI.com .


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Cell Block parties to benefit HIV services 2019-07-13 - Cell Block, 3702 N. Halsted St., is holding a series of fundraising parties to benefit HIV services. The new owners of Cell Block—a ...


Gay News

Moments in the Public Health Response to AIDS, CDPH LGBTQ Outreach Keynote June 28 2019-07-01 - Chicago Department of Public Health LGBTQ Outreach Keynote Speech, given by Tracy Baim, June 28, 2019, Chicago Cultural Center The following keynote speech ...


Gay News

Mayor Lightfoot promotes National HIV Testing Day, gets tested 2019-06-27 - Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot joined representatives from Beyond Care and Walgreens to highlight the importance of HIV testing in observance of National HIV ...


Gay News

Walgreens, Greater Than AIDS offering free tests June 27 2019-06-23 - Walgreens and Greater Than AIDS are partnering community organizations across Chicago to provide free, confidential HIV testing and counseling in 22 Chicago Walgreens ...


Gay News

Congressman Chuy Garcia on Reports of ICE Raids Starting This Weekend 2019-06-21 - Chicago, IL- Congressman JesÃs "Chuy" GarcÃa ( IL-04 ) issued the following statement in response to news reports that the U.S. Immigration and ...


Gay News

Aldermen Mobilize to Protect Chicagoans from Promised ICE Raids 2019-06-21 - President Donald Trump directed the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to move forward with targeted immigration raids ...


Gay News

MOVIES '5B' revisits first AIDS ward in Calif. hospital 2019-06-19 - The powerful new documentary 5B is about a group of caregivers opening the first AIDS ward at San Francisco General Hospital in the ...


Gay News

Aging with HIV focus of Reunion Project event 2019-06-17 - The Reunion Project 2.0—Chicago hosted a two day event focused on people aging with HIV June 14-15 at Loyola University's Water Tower Campus. ...


Gay News

Chicago House names new CEO 2019-06-11 - Chicago House announced that its board of trustees has appointed Michael Herman as its newest CEO. His term will begin July 8. ...


Gay News

Aging with HIV focus of upcoming Reunion Project 2.0 event 2019-06-05 - Five years ago, The Reunion Project hosted the first day-long summit for long-term survivors of HIV/AIDS in Chicago. This year, the free summit, ...


 



Copyright © 2019 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.