African Americans Account for More Than Half of New U.S. HIV Cases Reported Annually, Report Says
African Americans make up more than half of new HIV cases reported in the United States annually but represent only 13% of the general U.S. population, according to a report released on Tuesday by the Black AIDS Institute, the AP/Monterey County Herald reports. The report -- titled "The Time is Now!" -- was released to coincide with the beginning of Black History Month and is based on statistics from the Kaiser Family Foundation, CDC, Congress and other sources (AP/Monterey County Herald, 2/2).
The report found that African Americans currently account for 54% of new HIV cases reported each year in the United States, and African-American women accounted for 67% of all AIDS diagnoses among women in 2001. The report also found that:
- African-American teenagers account for approximately 66% of new AIDS cases among teens, although they make up only 15% of the U.S. teen population;
- Up to 33% of African-American men who have sex with men under age 30 are HIV-positive;
- About 42% of all AIDS diagnoses in the United States are among African Americans; and
- Nearly 40% of all AIDS diagnoses among African Americans as of 2003 could be traced to contaminated needles.
The report calls on Congress to increase funding for HIV/AIDS treatment programs and Medicaid, provide more comprehensive sex education in schools, adopt a "sensible" HIV/AIDS prevention policy for prisons and curb the cost of HIV/AIDS-related medications. The report also urges states to adopt needle-exchange programs (Wright, "The Time is Now!" February 2005). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.