(TriceEdneyWire.com) – In the days before the 2016 International AIDS Conference began, International AIDS Society President and AIDS 2016 co-chair Chris Beyrer, M.D., met with the Black Media Delegation to preview some of the late-breaking news at the Conference in Durban, South Africa. Dr. Beyrer was particularly excited about the July 2016 issue of the British medical journal The Lancet, which contains an analysis of HIV, viral hepatitis and tuberculosis among prisoners worldwide. We became very disturbed about new research he shared about the relationship between mass incarceration and the HIV epidemic among African American women—especially because we now know that untreated HIV is infectious HIV and we have been sold this story that the epidemic has been driven by the “down low.” What follows is a heavily edited version of a long conversation:
Q: What are you most excited about?
A: Today we are launching a very important series of six papers and three commentaries in The Lancet on HIV and prisoners. We looked at all the data available globally including the U.S. A very important piece by an American researcher looks specifically at the impact of the mass incarceration of young Black men on HIV infections in African American women. We now really understand why this relationship exists and what the biology is.