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AIDS documentary
links homophobia to HIV in black communities

AIDS documentary
links homophobia to HIV in black communities

Six District of Columbia women, all African-American and HIV-positive, are profiled in the new documentary film Faces, which focuses on the rapid spread of HIV in Washington, The Washington Post reports. The district health department estimates that about 5% of D.C. residents are HIV-positive and about 2% have developed AIDS, giving the region the highest HIV prevalence rate in the country.

"Here in Washington, D.C., we have one of the most educated cadres of African-Americans on the planet," Jatrice Martel Gaiter, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington, told the Post. "Doctors and lawyers have families and are at risk. But they are oblivious, and they believe there is some economic reason for the epidemic."

One reason for the high HIV prevalence rate in the district, AIDS experts say, is because of stigma surrounding homosexuality in African-American communities. Bisexual black men often have sex with other men secretly because of the stigma, and if they contract HIV or other sexually transmitted diseases, they can pass them along to their female sex partners. (The Advocate)

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