Today, marks the 12th annual National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, a national initiative designed by the Centers to boost HIV awareness and advance HIV prevention, testing, and treatment among African Americans in the United States.
Among all ethnic groups, African Americans have the greatest risk for being diagnosed with HIV infection. In 2009, African Americans made up 14% of the US population but accounted for nearly half (44%) of all new HIV infections. Recent data from the CDC shows that the rate of new HIV infections for black women is more than 15 times as high as that of white women, and more than 3 times as high as that of Latino women.
Experts cite socioeconomic factors, like poverty and limited access to health care, as a contributing factor to increased HIV risk in the black community. Lack of awareness of HIV status has also been linked to higher HIV rates in all communities as approximately 20% of adults and adolescents in the United States living with HIV do not know they are infected.
In order to help reduce HIV infection in black communities, the CDC and its partners are pursuing a high-impact prevention approach to advance HIV testing among blacks.
You can take steps to help end the HIV/AIDS epidemic by learning the basic facts related to HIV and AIDS, including how HIV is spread; getting tested for HIV/AIDS; and seeking treatment if you or a loved one are living with HIV.