It Takes a Village to Fight HIV/AIDS
Today, February 7th 2011 is the 11th year for the National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness day. The goal of the effort is to increase HIV testing and treatment within the American Black community.
HIV/AIDS has taken a greater toll on Black Americans than any other racial or ethnic group in the United States.
According to the CDC, the largest number of new infections comes from HIV+ individuals who are not aware of their infection; 25% of HIV+ individuals who are unaware of their status cause more than 67.5% of all new infections. The remaining 75% of HIV+ individuals who are aware of their status cause less than 1/3 (32.5%) of new infections.
Do you only have sex with a main partner? Another study that looked at the relationship status of newly infected men found that most HIV transmissions among men who have sex with men (in five US cities; Boston, Chicago, Denver, New York, San Francisco, and Seattle) are infected by their main sex partners. ‘Main sex’ partner is defined as “someone who you feel committed to above all others.”
This information is especially important for Black men to be aware of; African Americans make up 13% of the U.S. population, but account for more than half of all new HIV/AIDS diagnoses.
Other facts on HIV & African Americans:
- HIV-related deaths and HIV death rates are highest among Blacks.
- Black teens (ages 13-19) account for 68% of new AIDS cases reported among teens.
- The survival time after an AIDS diagnosis is lower on average for African Americans than it is for other racial/ethnic groups.
- Black women account for the vast majority of new AIDS cases among women.
National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is not only a time for remembrance, but also a time for action. If you are HIV-positive and are not being treated, take steps to learn how to get connected to care. If you do not know your status and have not been tested recently, it’s easy to find information about where to get an HIV test. Finding a testing location is easy – just text your zip code to “KNOWIT” to receive a list of testing sites near you.