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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Why Less Black Women Are Getting HIV -- The Numbers Are Down By 42 Percent

Black woman with HIV

HIV is one of the diseases that disproportionately affects African Americans. In fact, African-Americans represent 44 percent of all new cases each year, according to the U.S. Centers For Disease Control (CDC), which is amazing because blacks make up only 13 percent of the total population in the U.S. But, there is good news. Among black women, HIV has been reduced by 50 percent.

Devastating statistics, but improvement being shown

African Americans still have the highest percentage rate of HIV infections. It is the highest among black women, accounting for 6 out of 10 new infections in the U.S. But the CDC recently reported that between the years 2005-2014, new HIV transmission rates among Black women decreased from 8,020 to 4,623. This was a 42 percent decrease, more than the 20 percent reduction during the same time period overall.

And that's not the first time this has happened. Between 2008 and 2010, new HIV infections among African American women also decreased by 21 percent, according to the CDC.

So are HIV awareness campaigns effective?

Apparently, so. The CDC believes one of the reasons for the reduction in new HIV infections is because of increased awareness of HIV. Many organizations have been actively running local and national campaign educating Black women about HIV, and even President Barack Obama in 2010 became the first President to create a national campaign against HIV. His National HIV/AIDS Strategy campaign not only educates people about HIV, but also increases access to care for people who already have HIV.

More work to be done

Although HIV can affect anyone, researchers say that African Americans are more vulnerable to contracting the virus due to poverty, lack of access to health care, and failure to get tested. The good news, though is that the numbers of HIV infection are going down - at least for now!

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