From The Bellingham Herald:
Dec. 1 is World AIDS Day, and in the United States we must draw attention to the need to combat AIDS in the African-American community.
Blacks make up only 14 percent of our population but account for 44 percent of all new HIV infections, making them the racial/ethnic group most affected by HIV, the virus that leads to AIDS, according to the Centers for Decease Control and Prevention.
One in 16 black men and one in 32 black women will be diagnosed with HIV at some point in their lifetime, the CDC predicts. In 2009, black men had an HIV infection rate more than six and a half times as high as white men, and two and a half times as high as Latino men, as reported by the CDC.
In 2009, black women accounted for 30 percent of new HIV infections among blacks. A whopping 85 percent of black women with HIV acquired it through heterosexual sex.
“The rate of new HIV infections for black women was more than 15 times as high as the rate for white women, and more than three times as high” as that of Latinas, the CDC found.
Blacks are especially at risk for social and economic reasons. First, 27 percent of blacks live in poverty, compared to 9.9 percent of whites. That often translates into limited access to high-quality health care and HIV prevention education.Second, blacks experience higher rates of other sexually transmitted infections, which can significantly increase the chance of contracting HIV.
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