According to a New York Times op-ed written by Duke University Medical Center psychiatrist Damon Tweety, “black men are seven times more likely than white men to receive a diagnosis of H.I.V. and more than twice as likely to die of prostate cancer.” With that said, health education and inspiring men to go see the doctor early for checkups is a must to saving more lives.
Tweety goes on to say
“Black patients, compared with those of other races, tend to be far less trusting of physicians and their medical advice. Much of this is rooted in a dark history of experimentation on black people without their consent (the four-decade-long [1932-1972] Tuskegee syphilis study is the most notorious modern-day example). Too often, however, this mistrust is to the patients’ detriment.”
After seeing my grandfather pass away and one of my favorite uncles die at an early age from unknown illnesses, I’ve often wondered, if they would have gone to see a doctor at all, could their lives have gone in a different direction? They were from an era where they saw these types of atrocities committed on males and perhaps had a level of mistrust in doctors…
Fortunately, I’m from a different era, where we are able to have better dialogue with our doctors, more information on diseases available on the internet and an opportunity to receive equal care. Yet, with the disparity in men dying from not getting checkups and with the early detection of any condition being paramount, our work is still cut out for us. I was excited to get a request for an interview from www.HealthyBlackMen.org, whose mission is to “increase health awareness and overall health literacy to help inform health decisions for black men everywhere.”
Thanks for reading and have a wonderful day!