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HIVAIDS and The Streets: The Relationship Between HIVAIDS and Heterosexual Street Life Oriented Blac


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Title: HIVAIDS and The Streets: The Relationship Between HIVAIDS and Heterosexual Street Life Oriented Blac

HIV/AIDS and The Streets The Relationship
Between HIV/AIDS and Heterosexual Street Life
Oriented Black Men
  • Yasser Arafat Payne
  • University of Delaware
  • Hanaa Anwar Hamdi
  • University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey

What does Street Life Mean?
  • Ideology
  • (1) The ideology has been passed on by older
    Black male generation and (2) the more connected
    to the code or the better a person understands
    the ideology the more resilient a person is
    considered (by himself as well as his immediate
    community) (R. Lincoln Keiser, 1967)
  • Set of Activities
  • Street life is a spectrum of networking behaviors
    that can be captured through two sets of
    activities (1) bonding activities that extends
    to joking, playing the dozens, hanging on the
    corner or block, rhyming (or rapping),
    playing basketball amongst each other to name a
    few activities and (2) illegal activities (e. g.
    robbing, selling drugs, committing violent acts,
    etc.) generally employed to confront the effects
    of racism and inner city economic impoverishment.

Theoretical Framing
  • (1) Womanism (Macmillan-Thomson, 2003 Walker,
  • (2) Sites of Resiliency (Payne, 2005, 2006)

Theoretical FramingWomanism Alice Walker
(1983) In Search of Our Mothers' Gardens
  • Womanist theology is a form of feminism that
    focuses on the specific concerns of women of
    African heritage. It centers around their
    relationship with God, their commitment to the
    moral flourishing of their communities, and their
    past, present, and future struggles for justice
    Although the term originates in the African
    diaspora, others find the emphasis on communal
    wellbeing and empowerment relevant to their own
    cultural contexts. Although womanism situates
    itself within a theological context, forays into
    intersections of science and religion tend to
    focus on issues of healthcare within African
    American communities, HIV/AIDS, the effects of
    biogenetic engineering on the poor, environmental
    racism, and shifting paradigms of dominance and
  • Womanist Theology." Encyclopedia of Science and
    Religion. Ed. Ray Abruzzi and Michael J. McGandy.
    Macmillan-Thomson Gale, 2003. 2006.
    22 Jan, 2008 lthttp//

Sites of Resiliency (Payne, 2005 Payne Brown,
in press)
  • Psychological Dimension
  • A psychological site of resiliency represents
    the code, ideology and/or value system imbued
    within the physical space. It is important to
    note that the street code is accepted by these
    men, to be a baseline understanding that provides
    strategies, rules and guidance for the multiple
    negotiations and interactions that may occur
    within a street lifestyle. Resiliency, for these
    men, is often equated to how well one masters or
    understands the code of the streets.
  • Physical Dimension
  • A physical site of resiliency represents those
    geographically bonded and diasporic places or
    spaces where, in the case of the streets, men
    congregate to bolster personal or group levels of
    resiliency (e. g. the block, street corner,
    basketball court, barber shop, your boys crib,

Sites of Resiliency Theoretical Model(Payne
Brown, in press Payne, 2005)
Traditional Conceptualizations of Resiliency for
Black Men
  • (1) Middle-class and upper middle class
  • (2) Ahistorical stance
  • (3) Individualized perspective that often holds
    the person solely responsible for the development
    of his resiliency and
  • (4) Refusal to consider the overall social
    structural impact of economic conditions in the
    lived experiences of Black men and/or the larger
    Black community.

Non Traditional Assumptions
  • (1) Race and racism
  • (2) Socio-historical patterns
  • (3) Intersection of concentrated economic poverty
    (capitalism) and resiliency and
  • (4) Phenomenological based analysis to understand
    personal constructions of resiliency.

Race/ethnicity of persons (including children)
with HIV/AIDS diagnosed during 2005
HIV/AIDS Racial/Ethnic Disparity
  • (1) 35.5 per 100,000 Blacks
  • (2) 10.9 per 100, 000 Hispanics
  • (3) 2.3 per 100, 000 Asians/Pacific Islanders
  • (4) 1.1 per 100, 000 Whites

Race/Ethnicity of Adults and Adolescents Living
with HIV/AIDS in 2005
Note. Based on data from 33 states with
long-term, confidential name-based HIV reporting.
Dominant Transmission Categories for Black Male
Adults and Adolescents Living with HIV/AIDS at
the end of 2005
  • (1) Male to Male Sexual Contact 48
  • (2) Injection Drug Use 23 and
  • (3) High Risk Heterosexual Contact 22

Dominant Transmission Categories for Black Male
Adults and Adolescents Living with AIDS at the
end of 2004
  • (1) Injection Drug Use 29.2 and
  • (2) High Risk Heterosexual Contact 18.1

What is High-Risk Heterosexual Contact?
  • (1) Sex During Menstrual Cycle
  • (2) Anal Sex
  • (3) Exposure to Broken or Bleeding Mucous
    Membrane Tissue, (i. e., vaginal and oral sex)

Dominant Arguments
  • (1) Hypersexual
  • (2) Down Low Thesis
  • (3) Infection of Black women from Black men
    formerly released from prison and
  • (4) Homophobia in the Black Community

Traditional Conceptualizations of Black
  • Pre-Occupation with Black Male Sexuality
    (Bennett, 1961/1993 Blassingame, 1979 Dubois,
    1935/1998 Lemman, 1991 Patterson, 1998).

Kardiner Ovessy (1951)
  • Part of this street life pattern is the result
    of sheer boredom and the irrelevancy of
    education. Hence, they cannot be attentive at
    school or get the feeling that they are engaged
    in a meaningful and ego-enhancing activity. Many
    of these high school boys have been to bed with
    women the age of their female teachers and the
    disciplines and obligations of school life make
    no sense to them. In consequence, school is
    treated as a meaningless routine. The street, on
    the other hand, offers adventure, struggle for
    dominance, mock and real hostilities. It is in
    other words, a better training for lifeaccording
    to their sightsthan education (p. 311).

The Down Low
Tenets of Street Masculinity
(Boyd-Franklin Franklin, 2000 Burton,
Obeidallah, and Allison, 1996 2000 Dopson,
2007 Franklin, 2004 Payne, 2006)
  • (1) Community/Localized Street Identity
  • (2) Accelerate/Bypass Adolescence
  • (3) Respect
  • (4) Loyalty
  • (5) Protector and
  • (6) Provider

Younger Street life Oriented Black Men
Economic Survival/Provider
  • Killer (17, 10th grade) Like some niggas, they
    really do need it (the option of street life)
    Couple of niggas I know, they really have
    nothing. Their mother and father is crack heads,
    so theyre uncles are selling drugs, so they be
    like Im a get down with my uncles and them...
    Im a try to get some money. I dont feel like
    asking everybody for a dollar to get something to
    eat ... Or to buy me some sneakers.

Younger Street life Oriented Black MenEconomic
  • Iceberg (16, 9th grade) You start selling drugs
    and you see all this money and stuff, you're like
    damn, now I've got it. Feel me. I dont got to
    ask nobody for nothing. You feel like a man.
    Feel me. Because you can support yourself. You
    can support anybody else. Feel me. You can do
    whatever you want to do with your money. You
    don't got to ask nobody, can I borrow fifty
    dollars and get some sneakers?, I mean, I dont
    even need groceries for my house, nothing like
    that. You got it all.
  • Wah Benz (17, 11th grade) Sometimes everybody
    parents aint able to raise their kids, so he
    the street life oriented Black boy goes to the
    people on the street for the help So they got to
    pay the bills and stuff like that. So, they
    aint got no choice but to go into that game
    street life because they cant get no real job
    at fourteen, fifteen years old. So thats what
    they got to do.


Community Attitudes Toward HIV/AIDS How do
African Americans view the epidemic themselves?

Study Many Blacks Cite AIDS Conspiracy
Prevention Efforts Hurt, Activists Say
  • By Darryl Fears
  • Washington Post Staff WriterTuesday, January 25,
    2005 Page A02


Prison, Black Men and Sexuality
  • (1) little empirical evidence to support that men
    are contracting the virus inside state and
    federal prisons
  • (2) most Black men who are infected in prison
    were infected before incarceration

What is Participatory Action Research?
  • Participatory Action Research (PAR) involves
    directly including on the research team, members
    of the population and/or community of interest.
    Once such members are identified, they then are
    offered the opportunity to participate in all
    phases of the research project (e. g. theoretical
    framing, methodological design, analysis,
    publication, formal presentation, monetary
    compensation, etc.). The general idea behind
    including community members on the research team
    is so that the community (in part) can play a
    direct role in guiding the development,
    documentation and/or shaping of information
    regarding itself (Fine et al., 2004 McIntyre,
    2000 Potvin et al., 2003 Wakeford, 2004)

The L. I. F. E. R. S. (2004)Ending the Culture
of Street CrimePrison Journal, 84, (4), 48 68.
  • .. It is unrealistic to think that any serious
    efforts to address the problem of drug addiction
    could be successful while simultaneously
    excluding drug users, who consume illegal
    substances and drug dealers, who market them,
    from such efforts. It is logically inconsistent,
    therefore, to expect a reduction in crime simply
    by galvanizing law enforcement, legislators, and
    a few select community groups, while excluding
    those deemed to be criminal elements from the
    process (274).