Telling the Untold Stories

HIV mortality rates are declining thanks to effective medications and growing awareness of the disease. But among black women in the US, late diagnoses and unique social and health concerns still make the disease harder to manage—as women's stories attest, the Washington Post reports.

African-Americans living with HIV are 10X times more likely to be diagnosed with AIDS than their white counterparts.

“HIV for African-American women has never been a single issue, separate from histories of addiction, trauma and poverty,” writes the University of Maryland’s Thurka Sangaramoorthy in The Conversation. She has been gathering oral histories from older HIV-positive women.

Among them is Shawnte’ Spriggs, who rebuilt a life dogged by trauma and abuse, only to be taken by surprise with an HIV diagnosis. She later realized many people in her life had likely died of HIV/AIDS, but it had been given another name.

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