HIV/AIDS & Black Women

Whether we want to admit it or not, AIDS is a disease that affects all of us. Moreover, what is scary to me is the fact that African American women represent the fastest growing group of individuals infected with HIV in the United States. This is illustrated below in the statistics provided by the Center for Disease Control & Prevention. Therefore, to everyone out there, especially African American women, PLEASE (pretty please) protect yourselves. If you are going to engage in sexual relations, make sure that you and your partner get tested before you decide not to use condoms. In addition, for all you men out there, show your love by not hassling a sista when she asks you to wear a condom.

The Cumulative Effect of HIV/AIDS:
According to the 2000 Census, African Americans make up 12.3% of the population of the United States. However, they have accounted for 39% — more than 347,000 — of the more than 886,000 estimated AIDS cases diagnosed since the beginning of the epidemic.1 By the end of December 2002, more than 185,000 African Americans had died with AIDS.1
For people diagnosed with AIDS since 1994, African Americans had the poorest survival rates of all racial and ethnic groups, with 55% surviving after 9 years compared to 61% of Hispanics, 64% of whites, and 69% of Asian/ Pacific Islanders.1
In 2000, HIV/AIDS was among the top three causes of death for African-American men ages 25-54 and African-American women ages 35-44.2
AIDS in 2002:
African Americans accounted for about 21,000, or 50 percent, of the more than 42,000 estimated AIDS cases diagnosed among adults in the United States.1
The AIDS diagnosis rate among African Americans was almost 11 times the rate among whites. African-American women had a 23 times greater diagnoses rate than white women. African- American men had almost a 9 times greater rate of AIDS diagnosis than white men.1
Over 162,000 African Americans were living with AIDS in the United States. They accounted for 42% of all people in the United States living with AIDS.1
HIV in 2002:
African Americans accounted for over half of the new HIV diagnoses reported in the United States.1
A study of people diagnosed with HIV found that 56% of “late testers,” i.e., those that were diagnosed with AIDS within one year of their HIV diagnosis, were African American.3 Late testing represents missed opportunities in prevention and treatment of HIV.
The leading cause of HIV infection among African-American men is sexual contact with other men, followed by injection drug use and heterosexual contact.1
The leading cause of HIV infection among African-American women is heterosexual contact, followed by injection drug use.1
Sixty-two percent of children born to HIV-infected mothers were African American.1

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