Population movements and STI segregation

Another broad social trend of the second half of the twentieth century had a unique influence on the transmission of STI in the Black population. During World War II, a need for labor for the production of war material encouraged a major migration of Blacks from the rural, agrarian South to factories in the North. In subsequent decades this migration intensified, with significant shifts in the demographics of large cities in the East and Mid-West - notably Chicago and Detroit. One consequence of this influx was an intensification of racial segregation. As the National Advisory Committee on Civil Disorders stated in their report to President Lyndon Johnson, "Our nation is moving toward two societies, one Black, one White - separate and unequal" (US National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders, 1968). Differences in socioeconomic status, political power, access to medical care, and preventive health services (LaVeist, 2002), along with racial differences in sexual partner preferences, were associated with perpetually high rates of STI in the Black community. These differences remain today, with Blacks continuing to experience disproportionately high levels of chlamydia and gonorrhea (Adimora and Schoenbach, 2005).

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