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Mt Sinai J Med. 1999 Sep;66(4):280-1.

African Americans and the medical establishment.

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AIDS Center, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY 10029, USA.


The African American community's response to the AIDS epidemic has reflected the profound mistrust of the medical establishment which many African Americans feel. Among African Americans, the belief that the epidemic originated in a genocidal plot is widespread. It is thought that organized medicine has been significantly involved in this plot. If we look at African Americans' historical relationship to the medical establishment from the era of slavery to the recent past, the suspicious attitudes which make such beliefs possible can be seen as an intelligible response to a new disease which disproportionately affects African Americans. Successful medical and public health responses to the epidemic have depended and will continue to depend upon overcoming the historical legacy of suspicion and gaining the trust of the community.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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