Today is BLACK AIDS DAY in the United States.
Among diseases that disproportionately affect African Americans, HIV/AIDS has had a particularly devastating effect. At every stage—from HIV diagnosis through the death of persons with AIDS—the hardest hit racial or ethnic group is African Americans. Overall, even though African Americans make up only approximately 13% of the US population, one half of the estimated new numbers of HIV/AIDS diagnoses in the United States in 2004 were for African Americans .*
AIDS has become a leading cause of death for African Americans. In 2002 (the most recent year for which data are available), HIV/AIDS was the second leading cause of death for all African Americans aged 35–44 . I
n the same year, HIV/AIDS was the number 1 cause of death for African American women aged 25–34 .
The cumulative toll (from the beginning of the epidemic through 2004) of AIDS is sobering.
Of the almost 1 million cases of AIDS diagnosed in the United States and its dependencies, possessions, and associated nations, 40% were in African Americans .
Of the more than half a million people with AIDS who have died, 38% were African Americans .
It is not an exaggeration to say that HIV/AIDS is an epidemic in the African American community.
African American Women
African American women, a term that includes adults and adolescents, are especially hard hit by HIV/AIDS. During 2001–2004, African American women accounted for 68% of HIV/AIDS diagnoses for women in the 33 states with long-term, confidential name-based HIV reporting .
More than three fourths of the HIV/AIDS cases diagnosed for African American women during 2001–2004 were caused by heterosexual contact . Injection drug use accounted for almost one fifth of the cases .
In 2004, the rate of AIDS diagnoses for African American women was 23 times the rate for white women and 4 times the rate for Hispanic women .
African American Men
During 2001–2004, African American men, a term that includes adults and adolescents, accounted for 44% of HIV/AIDS diagnoses in men in the 33 states with long-term, confidential name-based HIV reporting .
Most African American men are infected with HIV through male-to-male sexual contact. Almost half of the cases of HIV/AIDS diagnosed for African American men during 2001–2004 were caused by male-to-male sexual contact . Heterosexual contact accounted for one quarter of the cases .
In 2004, the rate of AIDS diagnoses for African American men was 8 times the rate for white men and 3 times the rate for Hispanic men .
African American Children and Youth
The perinatal transmission of HIV (that is, transmission from mother to child during pregnancy, labor, delivery, or breastfeeding), has declined dramatically during the past decade for all races and ethnicities. In 2004, an estimated 145 infants were perinatally infected with HIV/AIDS—down from more than 1,700 in the early 1990s . In spite of the reductions in perinatal transmission, African American children and youth remain at risk.
In 2004, almost three quarters of all diagnoses of perinatally acquired HIV/AIDS were for African Americans (CDC, HIV/AIDS Reporting System, unpublished data, June 2005).
In 2004, the rate of AIDS diagnosis for African American children (under the age of 13) was 4 times that for white and Hispanic children .
Among young people, African Americans have been most affected by HIV, accounting for 56% of all HIV infections reported among those aged 13–24 in areas with confidential HIV reporting .
Taken from CDC Fact Sheet On African Americans and AIDS http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/topics/aa/resources/factsheets/pdf/AfAmImpact.pdf