National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness
National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
The Strategic Leadership Council, in coordination with the Centers Disease for Control and Prevention, and a number of other organizations mark National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day.
African Americans represent only 14% of the US population but account for almost half of all new HIV infections in the United States per year.
Living With HIV
African Americans represent more than one-third of all people living with HIV in our nation.
According Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data, "The socioeconomic issues associated with poverty — including limited access to high-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 and at risk for HIV."
Health Care Providers' Role
The National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day challenges health care providers to work to eliminate these unacceptable health disparities by ramping up HIV prevention efforts.
A Focus on Prevention
Education and understanding prevention and treatment of HIV is important, including education on preventing transmission.
Stepped Up Testing
Lack of awareness of HIV status can affect HIV rates. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data, almost 73,600 HIV-infected people in the African American community in 2011 were unaware of their HIV status.
Improving Access to Treatment
African Americans living with HIV are less likely than white or Latino Americans to receive consistent, ongoing HIV care. Only about 38% of African Americans got consistent care from 2011 – 2013.
CDC officials and partner organizations are researching High-Impact Prevention approaches to reduce new HIV infections, including researching "scientifically proven, cost-effective, and scalable interventions targeted to the right populations in the right geographic areas."
According to Ms. Burwell's statement: "One thing we can all do is speak out - speak out against HIV stigma whenever and wherever you encounter it. Stigma and shame continue to prevent too many people from seeking testing and getting the health care they need to live healthy, active lives."
The nation recently marked National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. "It's an opportunity for all of us to honor the memory of those we've lost, and to call attention to the fact that HIV continues to disproportionately affect African American men, women, and youth," according to a statement prepared by HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell.
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