Because June 8, 2013 is Caribbean American HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, it is important to recognize the startling facts about the demoralizing impact HIV/AIDS is having on the Caribbean American communities all over the world. According to the Caribbean People International Collective, Inc., surveys of Caribbean American communities reveal significant health disparities and have identified HIV/AIDS and inadequate access to health care as a major health issue in this population.
People of color now account for a greater proportion of AIDS cases reported. A close examination of the U.S. AIDS cases over the past decade reveals that HIV/AIDS is the leading cause of death among African American between the ages of 25-44, according to the Centers for Disease Control. It is important to note that African-American are often viewed as one group, there is, in fact, a wide variety of populations in the US included under this heading are upper class, lower class, Christian, Muslim, inner city, suburban, descendants of slaves and recent Caribbean immigrants all come under the African-American heading.
A high rate of migration between the Caribbean and the United States creates potential public health implications for the delivery of care and treatment services for Caribbeans living with HIV/AIDS in the United States. Poor health, premature death and AIDS have challenged the extended Caribbean-American family in every part of the country to find new reservoirs of compassion, to increase our political voices, confront many difficult issues such as drug use, sexuality, poor health care which for generations, have been deemed unmentionable. The spiritual lives of our communities have been tested to its core as religious leaders reach out to advocate with families who have suffered stigma and exclusion.