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.


There are 9 comments

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  1. Jason

    HIV can be defeated but it is going to take a focus on testing, and a much stronger more graphic message about prevention and the realities of living with HIV.

    There is a new sort of thinking that makes it way too positive to be positive.

    HIV is still killing people, many people can’t afford or tolerated the medications used in treatment.

    This is still an incurable disease and everyone needs to know their status and use condoms 100% of the time.

    More than this people need to know self love and self respect, one would be surprised how far this can go in dictating behaviours and preventing the spread of HIV.

  2. Brian

    While I commend A4A in its effort to spread awareness about HIV/AIDS transmission, I wonder if it isn’t a bit like the cigarette compnay telling you not to smoke. The gay village is the most critical and self-righteous place when it comes to poz people. In the past two days, on this very site, I have debated disclosure with two men who were indignant with me because I defended a friend who didn’t wish to disclose his status online. The profile for one had a blank status and advertised “sex, sex, and more sex” and wanted to swap loads with me! The other is married and is cheating on his wife while he travels! And these are the people whob sit in judgment of my friend and others? No wonder they don’t want to give their status. This “village” needs to grow a pair and embrace the fat, the thin, the old and the poz among us, or nothing wil change.

  3. Spike n Houston

    I believe that Hope and Respect in the African American Community, Espcially the Church and FAMILY , should embrace family members that is suffering and liveing inspiring lives with HIV. It’s already a struggle to black gay and closeted. We as a people should embrace the word Hope and Respect each other beliefs but Love each as well. Hope we will Survive my Brothers of color and all national origins brothers and sisters…

  4. johnboy

    the only way is a cure which society does not want or support. I am HIV+. I am addicted to sex. I have a positive outlook on life. I am hoping to live 20+ years. I am not a criminal as the law suggest. most people love sex and are sexually active. Be safe.

  5. Stephan

    Brian – I hear you loud and clear. What you point out is as you say a condition of our “village”. We hope to have an impact on our village through this health blog.

    When you look at exactly what Adam4Adam ‘is’ there is little to view. Without our members Adam4Adam is a blank space with some adult ads.

    What you describe is not under the site’s ability to control and the experience you relay is a perfect example of this. What you describe is an interaction with a person who is a member of the site – not the site itself.

    The health section of this blog is an attempt to talk about the issues we face as gay men regarding our health, including our physical, mental, and emotional health.

    It is our hope to have an impact on each other, not through overt efforts to control behavior or define what is right or wrong, but through providing a platform for dialogue.

    The village is us, Adam4Adam is just one of the many roads in town. 😉

    Thank you for your comments and for participating in the conversation!

  6. Brian

    Hello Stephen,
    Thank you for your thoughtful reply to my post that emanated from an experience which is all too common, unfortunately.
    The “village” moans over the rest of the world assigning the labels of “innocent” and “guilty” persons with HIV. Its bad enough that these distinctions are made in the straight world, but for our poz friends in our own community, it is an atrocity to hear them from their neg community.
    While Adam attempts to allow a free flow of information for its members, I am sure that you must know I your heart of hearts that it can be utilized as a weapon against members of our own community.
    And I am painfully aware that it is not the responsibility of this site to educate humanity….that job should have been handled by these bullies’ parents…long ago.

  7. Down South Arkansas Builded Boy

    My heart go out to many of the peope living with HIV/AIDS. There areso many young guys ages 17 to 22 that are positive, many of the don’t wanna know. They out with there friends getting high off drugs, or got some sugardaddy giving them the hookups. I’m a nurse and it’s hurt me to see young guys of all colors come in forthe frist time and find out that they are positive. Jason, Brian, Derek, Stephan, Johnboy, and Spike N Houston what’s up Houston my hometown.I’m not positive but have friends that are, it’s painfull to see and know what we will do for money and drugs. We need to help the brother get off drugs and not support. them because of what big tool they have, we need parents to be parents and teach them how to become a man to support themself. parents need to stop trying to be a homeboy and be a parent.

  8. CR

    What kills me the most is the sexy dude I like on here who takes it raw and thinks he is somehow immune… Trusting a stranger to give you accurate information in the heat of passion or the pretense of hooking up.

    I am dumbfounded that someone would allow someone they know nothing about to enter and ejaculate inside them. I am a top and do not know the mindset of the bottom. But I know my boy is on here 24/7 chatting up potential tops to fuck him and he thinks he “knows what he’s doing.”

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