Thesis: While AIDS is very easily passed throughout prisons and correctional facilities, people also find out they are HIV positive through prison tests.
- Among state and federal jurisdictions reporting in 2010 there were 3,913 inmates living with an AIDS diagnosis.
- Rates of AIDS-related deaths among state and federal prisoners declined an average of 16% per year between 2001 and 2010, from 24 deaths/100,000 in 2001 to 5/100,000 in 2010.
- Among jail populations, African American men are 5 times as likely as white men, and twice as likely as Hispanic/Latino men, to be diagnosed with HIV.
- Among jail populations, African American women are more than twice as likely to be diagnosed with HIV as white or Hispanic/Latino women.
- Inmate concerns about privacy and fear of stigma. Many inmates do not disclose their high-risk behaviors, such as anal sex or injection drug use, because they fear being stigmatized.
- Nine out of ten jail inmates are released in under 72 hours, which makes it hard to test them for HIV and help them find treatment.
- HIV testing at a correctional facility may be the first time incarcerated people are tested and diagnosed with HIV.
Thesis: The promiscuity and rape within prisons and correctional facilities leads to the easy spread of HIV across inmates.
- Prevalence of HIV and other infectious diseases is much higher among inmates than among those in the general community, and the burden of disease among inmates and releasees is disproportionately heavy
- Because of the general lack of condoms and sterile needles/syringes, such behavior may involve greater risk within correctional facilities than on the outside
Thesis: Mass media and television are bringing attention to addition through following celebrities and encouraging rehab.
- More than 23 million Americans are believed to have an addiction disorder, yet only 10 percent of those receive treatment
- Modern behaviors towards addiction and rehabilitation have considerably changed during the last decade thanks to the multitude of images depicting substance abuse and behavioral disorders that are infiltrating this technological generation
- Addiction and unstable behavior portrayed in such television shows exploit celebrities’ erratic and unhealthy behaviors, leaving nothing private while boosting television ratings and simultaneously encouraging these celebrities’ popularity
Thesis: Sometimes a step on the road to recovery is just having support
- The Stonewall Project is a family of programs dedicated to providing harm reduction-based counseling, treatment, and support services to gay men, transmen who have sex with men, and other men who have sex with men who are having issues with drugs and/or alcohol. We welcome you wherever you’re at, and do not require abstinence for you to receive services.
- Our goal is to create a safe space where gay men and other men who have sex with men (MSM) who use crystal meth, crack cocaine, powder cocaine, alcohol and/or other drugs can come to deal with issues of concern to them without stipulations, conditions or judgments.
- A program rooted in harm reduction
- I was homeless, not because I had to be; because I chose to be. Because I always had a place to go at my mother’s
- I came to Dr. Rebick. I was going to a doctor in the Bronx and for some reason, he was a great doctor and he used to do a lot of studies and whatnot. All of a sudden he left.
- I said – let me find a doctor closer to me, because I moved to Brooklyn but still going to my doctor in the Bronx. I said – let me come here. And I had a thing about coming to Downstate, I really did. One of the reasons is because my daughter is here. I went through a little change with Downstate when they transferred my daughter without my permission.
- I stayed at Rikers Island for 30 days
- Yeah, so I had to start over, but I was incarcerated a total of eight months. I stayed at Beacon for eight months and I went on work release one month. I basically finished and I moved back to Long Island
- STAR Clinic
- When I moved back from Long Island to Brooklyn, when I got my apartment in Brooklyn I had set two short goals – first to get my skates, and get a sewing machine.
- In Long Island for three years.
- Crown Heights
- elementary school in Brooklyn
- high school in Brooklyn, Abraham Lincoln
- Medgar Evers
- PS 155 on St. Marks and Saratoga
- Eastern Parkway and Schenectady
- Crown Heights on Crown Street
- Abraham Lincoln in Coney Island
- Rikers Island
- Beacon Correctional Facility
- Long Island
- North Carolina
- New York
- Long Island, go to Jersey, go to Baltimore, Yonkers
- out the country
- came back to the city
- my house
- back to the city
- North Carolina
- Um, I don’t feel, well I guess I’ve been taking them since ’97, when I was diagnosed, I really don’t feel a difference.
- We talk every day. (mother)
- At one time I had stopped taking my medicine. I never like took my medication and then I forget here and I take it there, I never. Either I took it or I didn’t. But I take my medicine now.
- Okay, I was incarcerated and I went upstate. I stayed at Rikers Island for 30 days exactly, and I went straight upstate. I stayed upstate from January of ’97 to August ’97. Nine months. Nine Months, yeah. Eight months. I would have been there less than that but I went to work release, but then I had to fight with this (inaudible)…
- Yeah, so I had to start over, but I was incarcerated a total of eight months.
- Two years at STAR
- In Long Island for three years.
- most of my life
- in the ‘80s
- three days, 7 at the most
- I was 37 years old
- in ’96
- next month
- when I started my medicine
- three years straight
- So somewhere between ’93 and ’97
- I’m 61
- My daughter passed away in ’75
- four or five years after she passed
- in ’75
- 82 years old
- when I was homeless
- in ’99
- In years later
- when I stopped working
- When I was incarcerated
- his early’20’s, 28
- two and a half months
- I was homeless
- So I was the mediator. I was the one that kept the peace, I was the one came to the rescue.
- My mother called me Miss Fixit.
- I was never ever a person about material things
- I know that I’m blessed
- I grew up in a household of four sisters
- I had the pleasure of having two fathers
- I had sewing from junior high school and high school, I used to teach basics to the class. It was something I enjoyed.
- I had long dreads in my hair
- I was like devastated
- I called was my mother, my mother’s the first one I called for everything.
- Because we were close, even though she was strict
- Felt like somebody took the floor from under me
- I mean we were close growing up but now that they live there and…other than that, and here recently I just started disclosing it to some people that I know and one person I disclosed it to, and you tell her
- When I was able to talk about it I didn’t have no problem. For those who I did tell I didn’t have a problem with it. The period had passed where I just couldn’t get the words out, you know all of that passed.
- Hmm, not why me? I didn’t say why me, I said – well, I took it upon myself. I can’t blame so-and-so, I can’t blame so-and-so. If I had protected myself instead hanging out… for a while, I still don’t know the history; they don’t know the history. So I couldn’t blame nobody and I just took my own responsibility.
- I would foresee things. I would always tell my mother…my first child is going to be a girl. She was born on Christmas Day and we gotta be married or she would pass. And so many things from the age of five and seven until this day that I foreseen exactly and I know it’s a blessing but it’s real, real, real scary (crying).
- it’s real scary
- I’m more selfish to myself than anybody else. I have to learn how to balance what I do in life
- I found out I was HIV positive too. So now I know what it feels like. But you don’t know what it feels like to have somebody do what you did to me.
- It wasn’t a good feeling at all.
- I’ve been doing pretty good. I’m still on the same regimen, yes. I really look at it as a blessing in a sense because if I hadn’t found out I was positive I wouldn’t be looking on the brighter side and doing better things for myself. I might not have seeked housing, I might still been out there. I look at it as a blessing.
- Now I can talk to people, not that I go around telling people I’m positive but I can talk about it without getting watery eyes or needing to go to the bathroom you know, going to blow my nose and wiping my eyes.
- I felt she deserved it and I still do. That became an annoying thing because I was at home more than when I was working.
- I knew something was wrong so I called my mother and told her to look through news articles and whatnot.
- They wanted to tell me that he got hit by a train. That’s one of my fears.
- Because I always had a place to go at my mother’s
- Oh, well the drugs, I needed money to buy more drugs. I can’t really say that…because I could have got, just by being homeless, you need money
- My mother was my correction officer in the beginning, I mean parole officer.
- Family, great support, my sisters…three of them are RNs and two are RN/nurse practitioners. One of my sons, he’s in the health field.
- And I appreciate those little kiddie things, those little stories she would tell us, make us paper dolls, show us how to color and draw and make arts and crafts and stuff. I appreciate those things but even my older sister, she was kind of boy crazy. I didn’t think about that – I used to like to fight the boys. So I could say that’s one of the things that kept me grounded.
- I’m like – what the heck is going on? I said – let me find a doctor closer to me, because I moved to Brooklyn but still going to my doctor in the Bronx. I said – let me come here. And I had a thing about coming to Downstate, I really did. One of the reasons is because my daughter is here. I went through a little change with Downstate when they transferred my daughter without my permission.
- Over the years all the things that I’ve so-called lost…nothing’s ever lost. Whatever I accumulated and lost, and I didn’t have later on, it came back triple. I just have to look at it like that. Starting over fresh. Downsizing…
- STAR Clinic
- my mother was real strict. Like I said, wherever we went, she went.
- I wouldn’t say stepfather because he was our father, he gave us the best of everything.
- My mother, she made things fun for us.
- I had some medical papers and one of them disclosed that I was HIV positive. And this girl, she’s a big girl, she used to like to bully everybody. It was about her. And she saw those papers and she showed everybody.
- Even with my mom…my mother she’s just – this is my house and I pay the bills and everything is her way. Even though she accepted the fact that I was positive
Marie What are you most proud of?
Roslyn To have the mother that I have. My mother raised five daughters, no boys, and my mother’s like when they grow up, get them out of my homeowners use, I’m going to travel this, I’m going to do this, I’m not watching no babies, I’m not that…yeah, right. Even before my youngest sisters got out of the house she had started a daycare. She used to watch abused kids, she used to help out parents that didn’t have control of their kids. She did that on her own and then she started doing it, got a certificate. My cousins, all of them, the best Aunt is Aunt [S], my mother’s…she’s great. And she looks good. She’s 80 years old, September she’ll be 80, she’s going to Africa, that’s her…
“Well, every time we went out my mother was there (laughter) so my mother was real strict. Like I said, wherever we went, she went.”
“My mother, she made things fun for us. She had arts and crafts, made ice cream with the snow, she would tell spooky stories with the lights out. She just made everything fun. For the holidays she’d decorate, Halloween, Christmas, whatever.”
“And first one I called was my mother, my mother’s the first one I called for everything.”
“Even with my mom…my mother she’s just – this is my house and I pay the bills and everything is her way.”
“I grew up in a household of four sisters, one nine months older, the one under me was nine years younger, so that was a big gap. So for a long time it was just me and my older sister.”
“I had the pleasure of having two fathers, I wouldn’t say stepfather because he was our father, he gave us the best of everything. Household full of girls. I was the one that made everybody laugh; I was the one when my mother and father separated I had to be with my sisters otherwise they wouldn’t go. I was the one that kept the peace. I was the one even though I started doing drugs they looked up to me a lot.”
“I called was my mother, my mother’s the first one I called for everything.”
“Because we were close, even though she was strict, she said – you can always come and talk to me and all my cousins, they could go talk to her. She’s the first one I told, I boo-hoo’d, she said – don’t worry about it, its going to be all right. And that was that.”
“My mother, my sisters, my sons, I haven’t actually disclosed to my outside family like cousins. I mean we were close growing up but now that they live there and…other than that, and here recently I just started disclosing it to some people that I know and one person I disclosed it to, and you tell her”
“Because they’re young, they’re boys, I’m not a grandmother yet”
“My daughter passed away in ’75, she had a rare heart condition and I never did drugs. I started doing drugs late in life.”
Marie (laughter) What are your support systems like, family, friends…?
Roslyn Family, great support, my sisters…three of them are RNs and two are RN/nurse practitioners. One of my sons, he’s in the health field.
Susan Say that again about the nurse practitioners. Who are they, I’m sorry?
Roslyn My sisters. I don’t have any problems there. I can talk to them. And they always call me, I’m their favorite sister. Like I said when my mother and father separated, in order for my sisters to go with my dad I had to be there. So I was the mediator. I was the one that kept the peace, I was the one came to the rescue. Don’t mess with my sisters! I love my sisters. Now there’s one, she’s, I don’t know, even when she had her menstrual period, she would just be a whole Jekyll and Hyde, and now she’s going through this thing with her daughter but I always call her and keep in contact with her even though she doesn’t return calls. She’s just wishy-washy. One day she’ll call like nothing happened and then the next day she’ll call like it’s the end of the world. “All you all did this!” I know her and when she goes through her changes I be so sweet she can’t take it! And she just found out her daughter has MS and she’s going through…
Roslyn She’s nine years younger; my sister over me is nine months. Nine, 11, and 13 years younger. So it’s like a whole generation, and everything, those nine years make a big difference. I mean, my mother, she’s still strict but she gave in a little you know? It was just…my mother made things fun, she was a workaholic, when she wasn’t working she was with her kids, and like I said it was just me and my older sister then so I said – that’s really what made a difference. And I appreciate those little kiddie things, those little stories she would tell us, make us paper dolls, show us how to color and draw and make arts and crafts and stuff. I appreciate those things but even my older sister, she was kind of boy crazy. I didn’t think about that – I used to like to fight the boys. So I could say that’s one of the things that kept me grounded.
Hobbies (other interests and important aspects of her life)
“Sewing. Crafts. Yes. Sewing and skating. I still go roller skating.”
“I’ve made money traveling out the country, back when they had roller disco.”
“I would love to learn how to skate.”
“Sewing and skating, it was two of my addictions that paid off.”
“Sewing, roller skating, and singing. S, S, S (laughter).”
“That’s not – I like fixing things, whether it be electrical…that’s how my mother and my second father were. They got closer, they got together, I used to always watch mom, they used to be outside and I’d actually watch them fix things. Fix the things in the apartment, you know?”
Marie Right. What are some of your goals?
Roslyn I like teaching kids crafts. I always think about how my mother, she made it fun for us and then she made it fun for my sons, they also had an arts and crafts thing. My son started, he used to make a little money for school, made Rugrats with little rocks. And he would draw…
“So I like doing things, and I like taking the little kids in my building, I don’t take money, I just make sure we have enough for the day, and we go to Prospect Park and go skating, I like doing that. Because my mother made it fun, she rode bikes with them until she was like 75 years old. She did it with me, she did it with my sons…I like doing those things. “
Susan I have questions…you mentioned an incredible range of jobs that you held over the years. You had a business where you did sewing, you worked as a concrete –
Roslyn Cement finisher.
Susan Cement finisher on bridges, so that’s two completely different positions. And then you worked as an LPN. And a replicator – what’s that?
Roslyn Data entry in the computer, takes the liquids and the plastics, the metal and the plastic and makes CDs.
I did volunteer work there. I used to go Central Islip itself, East Islip, used to go and do the property violations, abandoned houses, basically…
“Matter of fact, well I’d been incarcerated like go to Rikers Island, I’d go for like three days, 7 at the most. And I was 37 years old and the judge gave me a one to three. She said – I’m not going to give you city…I don’t understand you wait so long to get a record, I’m going to teach you a tough lesson. So she sent me upstate. I was in Beacon Correctional Facility. This was in ’96.”
Marie Tell me about your experience with incarceration.
Roslyn Okay, I was incarcerated and I went upstate. I stayed at Rikers Island for 30 days exactly, and I went straight upstate. I stayed upstate from January of ’97 to August ’97. Nine months. Nine Months, yeah. Eight months. I would have been there less than that but I went to work release, but then I had to fight with this (inaudible)…
Marie All bets was off?
Roslyn Yeah, so I had to start over, but I was incarcerated a total of eight months. I stayed at Beacon for eight months and I went on work release one month. I basically finished and I moved back to Long Island. And, um, I started back working. My mother was my correction officer in the beginning, I mean parole officer.
Marie What do you see as a connection between incarceration and HIV?
Roslyn Didn’t we just do that?
Marie No. Tell me your experience with incarceration.
Roslyn Um, it was a blessing. More than likely if I didn’t get incarcerated I wouldn’t have gotten (inaudible) and I wouldn’t have found out I was HIV positive.
In the articles provided, all discussed a similar topic, HIV/AIDS. Though a common topic was used, all articles discussed the topic in a completely different approach. In the article, Why We Fight, the thesis was primarily saying that we, as a nation, are not doing enough in regards to HIV/AIDS; not talking about it enough, not educating enough, not being worried enough, and certainly not caring enough.
In the first chapter of Structural Intimacies: Sexual Stories in the Black AIDS Epidemic, it seemed as though the thesis was providing opinions and stories of those affected by HIV/AIDS in the black community. From what I interpreted, it seemed as though the author was trying to say that the discussion about black men contracting HIV/AIDS has gone unspoken for far too long. The author explains that for a long time, homosexual sexual activity in the black community was, and still is, kept very quiet and secretive, thus not allowing for an open discussion about the dangers of HIV/AIDS.
In the final article, Could Zika be the Next HIV, discusses the Zika virus that is taking the world by storm currently. Though the article’s main purpose seems to be educating the world on what exactly Zika is and how it affects us, the thesis is considering the idea the Zika could be most comparable to HIV. The article talks about how Zika can be contracted and compares it to the similar ways in which HIV can be contracted.
After reading these articles and synthesizing the information, my main argument is that we need to discuss and educated our nation, and the world, on HIV/AIDS and Zika. Before we need to start arguing about what we can do about these issues and what might happen from these diseases, we need the world to even know what we’re talking about. Quiet honestly, when reading these articles, I was incredibly alarmed about how little I knew about this topic. As someone who has been in a public education system since age 5, I was baffled that our nation hasn’t mandated that this type of information be taught and discussed in school. When you look at the articles, it’s obvious that a lot of our nation is in the dark too. People either haven’t been educated enough, don’t care to know because it isn’t affected them yet, or people are too afraid to discuss their personal accounts of their disease. My stance is that we need to put the stigma behind us and start talking. Sure, it can be a hard topic to discuss diseases that are transferred from sex and sharing needles or even mosquitoes, but we need to talk about it. What’s at risk? The risk is people not knowing enough and further spreading this disease. The risk is more people dying everyday.
I looked on the internet to see if there were many programs right now to educate on this topic, and one thing I found was this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EqlyEYOI754
Though it is a little goofy, this animated video is a great way of starting to educate at a young age. The language is fairly simple and let’s people of various ages know the facts about HIV/AIDS. Things such as this video are a great way to start the discussion and education our world needs.