Transforming paradigms: From bifurcation to interrelationality in HIV prevention discourse
Women of color, particularly Black women are disproportionately represented in the AIDS epidemic. While women of African descent constitute only 13 percent of the population of women in the United States, they account for 64 percent or nearly two-thirds of all newly acquired HIV among women. This thesis explores the reasons why women of color communities, particularly women of African descent, are disproportionately impacted by the HIV epidemic. I argue that while prevention methods have been considerably effective, they are still limited because they do not address the multilayered impact of race, class, and gender oppression as well as larger structural inequities. My goal is to expand HIV discourse on women and explore ways in which the reproductive justice framework can be applied to HIV prevention and advocacy. HIV is a reproductive justice issue. I believe that the reproductive movement and framework, which entail grassroots women of color organizations and their allies fighting for reproductive rights and social justice guided by a human rights principles, advance a radical means of addressing the needs of women of color impacted by HIV and AIDS.