African American HIV/AIDS and Social Institutions
Over the last decades, Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) have been transformed from a virtual death sentence into a chronic and manageable condition. This development has significant and specific implications for African Americans. In educational, media, political, and public health institutions, African Americans do not wield the power necessary to meet their needs vis-a-vis the HIV/AIDS pandemic. The AIDS services organizations that had been forged to address HIV/AIDS were largely formed in the interest of white males. This chapter analyzes pertinent studies related to HIV/AIDS among African Americans to argue that a complex of institutional relations results in greater infection rates among African Americans. The internal colonial and racialized organization of society is argued to be the cause of this complex. Social policies must include serious attention to dealing with white racism and discrimination that is pervasive in all major societal institutions to eliminate the racial disparities for funding HIV prevention and treatment programs.