Edwidge Danticat: Don’t let new AIDS study scapegoat Haitians

(The column below originally appeared in The Progressive, November 7, 2007: http://www.progressive.org/mp_danticat110707)A new study on the early path of the AIDS epidemic threatens to stigmatize Haitians and Haitian-Americans once again. Late last month, a group of researchers published a study that concluded that the explosion of the AIDS pandemic in the United States resulted from the virus first being brought from the Congo to Haiti around 1966 and then to the United States “after a single migration of the virus out of Haiti in or around 1969.” Now I am not a scientist and I don’t pretend to understand every detail of the research conducted by the group, led by Michael Worobey of the department of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Arizona. (The study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.) But prominent physicians argue that the group’s conclusions are highly debatable. And, by pinning the blame on a Haitian “immigrant host,” they could have potentially devastating consequences read more