Be Careful: There is an STD Explosion in the Black Community

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Most of you read about the story of William Brawner, the former Howard University student who admitted to having unprotected sex in college while knowing that he is HIV positive.  The story sent shockwaves throughout the African American community, as well as among Howard University alumni.  But the case is probably not isolated and stands as a call to arms for those who are concerned about the recent spike in HIV/AIDS cases in Black America.

Dr. Jennifer Caudle is a family physician out of New Jersey who understands the complexities of health problems within the African American community.  In the video below, she speaks with Dr. Boyce Watkins about what we can learn from the Howard University incident, as well as ways to slow down the rapid transmission of STDS throughout all of Black America.

The video is below:


13 Comment

  1. There are more people dying of diabetes related ailments than AIDS and Breast Cancer combined. Why are we worried about this fool. Those women chose to have unprotected sex with this clown. In this day and age it is hard to pity anybody that has sex w/o being married, then have it unprotected only to acquire a STD or AIDS. That is a lack of self esteem issue.

    • OMG Chrystal, this is not a self esteem issue. This is an issue that is killing African Americans at a rate that me as a nurse am scared of, and you should be too. Yes, these women did have unprotected sex, as I do with my husband, and probably yourself as well. This guy gave HIV to these women consciously and without blinking an eye and there are many more out there doing the same thing. That is part the problem and not self esteem.

      • A little compassion goes a long way…Thank you Shawn, Because if it were not for the Grace of God…

    • I am utterly unable to understand the relationship between unprotected sex and marriage. Marriage is a contract executed with the state that involves more than one person. Plural marriage is a legitimate social convention. There is nothing sacred about monogamy, though it might be your favored fashion. Human responsibility is the key concept. My wife has three husbands because she has a six-figure annual salary and can afford it. Would you believe that?

    • What does that say about the young ladies that are having unprotected sex with him. We MUST take responsibility for our actions. Ladies…buy your own condoms. (the GOOD ones) and if a brother don’t wear it…then don’t be with him…just that simple! when you have unprotected with anyone…you have had sex with everyone that person has been…and ALL of the people they have been with. Wake up young people, life is too precious to spend the best times of your lives on meds while in and out of the hospitals…being restricted/limited to selecting a great mate for youself. IIt’s just not worth it.

  2. Lack of self-esteem could certainly be a contributing factor, but certainly not the root cause. I believe Chrystal’s comment is on point in the sense that it takes two to tango, and if you are willing to play Russian Roulette with your life, then you have to accept the consequences and certainly shouldn’t seek sympathy/empathy from others based on decisions that you have made. To understand why these tragic incidents are happening, you have to consider and weigh other factors such as human nature, peer pressure, personal risk acceptance, trust, and the psychological dichotomy of those involved. Unfortunately, we are dealing with humans, therefore, there is no silver bullet to resolve this issue. The education campaigns must continue.

  3. Truth telling is the first step. So long as a group is in denial nothing of substance can happen. It all begins with informed consent. Without that little caveat nothing can happen. We can not distinguish the true from the false, the real from the imagined. The Howard University and the National Bar Association should try to educate Black folks about informed consent. If the capacity is not there to capture that concept, no one can be held accountable.

  4. STIGMA. The most important thing that we must eradicate is stigma. The reason the young gentleman at Howard was hesitant to talk about his status was the stigma that would be placed upon him for having HIV. Even Mr. Watkins’ commentary was derisive and punitive. He attributed HIV to “sneakiness” (specifically talking about women), he talked about how he has no sympathy for the young man at Howard, and then talks about how black people are going to be “wiped out” by HIV. It is these type of insensitive statements that are the biggest detriment to the spread of HIV in America. I appreciate Dr. Caudle’s insistence that we need to take a positive view at knowing our status. If the subject stops becoming taboo than people will not be so apprehensive about taking command about it, and being honest about it. May I add that HIV is no longer a death wish in this day and age, we have a long way to go but there are many healthy people living with HIV. We should take care to rec0gonize these individuals fighting everyday.

  5. Brawner should have known better since he was raised as a child with a very deadly disease. One would think he would have had the knowledge of knowing not to give other’s his sickness. What make him any different than the people we’ve prosecuted for spreading the HIV disease after they contracted it, later in their life’s. It’s too easy to blame young college student’s or sexually active people. Black’s need Better HealthCare to cut down on the spread of so called simple STD’s, that make it more easy to contract HIV/AIDS,

  6. No glove, no love. No jimmy, no shimmy. Seriously. If a potential sex partner shows the least bit of reluctance to be sexually safe with me: I cross them off the list. It just shows me they already have a history of not using protection and might already have something. Aside from catching HIV or AIDS there is a plethora of STDs out there that can ruin your life and even leave you sterile to boot.

    All I have to say is ladies: love yourselves enough to demand responsibility from your partner. If you are going to be sexually active, then you need to be sexually pro-active and sexually responsible. Carry your own condoms. I never leave my health and safety up to somebody else, ok?

    I’m really not able to muster up any sympathy for that guy or his partners. In this day and age, catching/spreading an STD shows you to be just plain not paying attention or caring about yourself or anyone else. You can lead a horse to water etc. This information BEEN out there. When you sleep with someone, you are sleeping not only with them, but Every Single Person they EVER slept with. Women take the pill or get the implant and whatever call it a day, thinking pregnancy is the only thing they got to worry about. Wrong so very wrong, Clamidia (sp), herpes, ghonorrea (sp), crabs etc anyone?

    Is our youth really that uneducated? Do they not teach the sex education class anymore? Do parents not sit down with their children and have “That Talk”? This article makes me wonder.



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