Television weekly series
originally telecast February 2, 1993 (29:00)
A Lecture by Dr. Ernest Drucker, professor of Epidemiology and Social Medicine at the Albert Einstein School of Medicine in the Bronx, New York City.
It's the cultural medium of our society which fosters the spread of this disease.
"Just as this virus in an individual
reveals all the weaknesses, takes advantage of them, creates them
-- the epidemic of this virus in our society reveals its weaknesses,
its flaws, its structure," stated Dr. Ernest Drucker
in this video exposition lecture about the epidemic as cultural
medium which encourages the spread of this disease.
"In New York City, there are close to 10,000 newly diagnosed and reported cases a year. Now we've had 30,000 cases reported in NYC so far. There certainly are 200,000 HIV infected people in New York City (some would say it's more, very few think it's less). Well, if we've had 30,000 out of 200,000 who have been indentified and diagnosed so far, that means the epidemic still has 85% of the way to go as far as just progression of illness in people already infected. The availability of medical care for that group, the arrangement for housing supports...that has to be done for 180,000 more people--having done it so far (not so well) for 30,000. Even if there are no new infections in New York City, there still is this enormous pipeline of people who are going to present themselves in need the next ten years.
"In the first years of the epidemic, New York City had 30% of AIDS cases to the rest of the country; today, it's down to under 15% which speaks to the diffusion of the epidemic in the rest of the country--the so-called general population as they call themselves. Today there are more than 1 Million people infected with HIV in the United States.
"We build more prisons. 25% of all 20 to 30 year-old African-American men are under the control of the criminal 'justice' system; 400 per 100,000 Americans are in prison -- more than any country in the world. We spent $65 Billion a year for prisons and have tripled the population in the last 15 years: mostly for drug associated reasons.
"That's the connection to the AIDS crisis. In the United States, we have a war policy, everything is a war. The drug wars and prison mentalities are crucial to why there's no money for AIDS....
"And then there is the discussion of sexuality in this country, the way only America can discuss sex, bigotry and fear...."
* 1997 Statistical Note:
This year, for the first time, the CDC reported a drop in the AIDS death rate -- but an increase in the rate of AIDS deaths in women. While the AIDS death rate in men dropped by 15% in the first six months of 1996, deaths in women increased by 3%.
WOMEN ARE THE FASTEST GROWING GROUP WITH NEW HIV INFECTIONS IN AMERICA AND THE THIRD LEADING CAUSE OF DEATH AMONG AMERICAN WOMEN 25-44 YEARS OF AGE.