CDC Report Says Nearly Half Of All HIV Patients In US Are Negroes
By race/ethnicity, African Americans face the most severe burden of HIV in the United States (US). At the end of 2007, blacks accounted for almost half (46%) of people living with a diagnosis of HIV infection in the 37 states and 5 US dependent areas with long-term, confidential, name-based HIV reporting. In 2006, blacks accounted for nearly half (45%) of new infections in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Even though new HIV infections among blacks overall have been roughly stable since the early 1990s, compared with members of other races and ethnicities they continue to account for a higher proportion of cases at all stages of HIV—from new infections to deaths.
Like other communities, African Americans face a number of challenges that contribute to the higher rates of HIV infection.
Sexual risk behaviors, such as unprotected sex with multiple partners, with a partner who also has other sex partners, or with persons at high risk for HIV infection can be common in some communities.
Injection drug use can facilitate HIV transmission through the sharing of unclean needles. Casual and chronic substance users may be more likely to engage in unprotected sex under the influence of drugsand/or alcohol.
African Americans continue to experience higher rates of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) than any other race/ethnicity in the US. The presence of certain STDs can significantly increase the chance ofcontracting HIV infection. A person who has both HIV infection and certain STDs has a greater chance of infecting others with HIV.
The socioeconomic issues associated with poverty, including limited access to quality health care, housing, and HIV prevention education, directly and indirectly increase the risk for HIV infection and affect the health of people living with HIV.