African Americans, Particularly Women, Hardest Hit by HIV/AIDS in Chicago
African Americans, particularly women, are disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS in Chicago, according to a study presented to the City Council's Health Committee on Tuesday, the Chicago Tribune reports. According to the report by the Chicago Department of Public Health, 67% of all new HIV and AIDS cases in 2000 occurred among African Americans, despite the fact that African Americans account for only 36% of the city's population. In addition, the rate of AIDS diagnoses among African-American women in Chicago has tripled in the last ten years, with 80% of all new AIDS cases among city women in 2000 occurring among African-American women. While most cases of HIV in Chicago women are attributable to injection drug use, an increasing number of women are contracting the virus through sexual contact, according to the Tribune. The city's HIV/AIDS statistics are "in line" with national trends, as approximately 50% of all newly reported U.S. AIDS cases in 2000 occurred among African Americans, according to the CDC. However, HIV transmission nationwide among women is primarily due to heterosexual contact, according to the CDC. In response to the study, committee members said they are "committed to scheduling a series of citywide public hearings and vow[ed] to pressure state and federal lawmakers to increase funding and services for people with AIDS." Approximately 28,000 Chicago residents have HIV or AIDS, according to the Tribune (Miller, Chicago Tribune, 7/10). Chicago has the fifth highest number of people living with AIDS among U.S. cities, according to the study (Miller, Chicago Tribune, 7/9).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.