The Minority/ Black Health Blog  

Monday, February 13, 2017

25% of African Americans With This Serious Health Condition Won't Find Out Until It's Too Late!

Covenant House HIV Support Group in Charleston, WV
Developing HIV does not have to be a death sentence. With proper treatment, HIV does not have to progress to full blown AIDS. The problem is that 25 percent of African Americans with HIV don't know they have it until it has progressed to AIDS.
Black men in particular may be infected with HIV for years without knowing it, according to lead researcher Andre Dailey, with the U.S. Centers For Disease Control (CDC) division of HIV/AIDS prevention. This is a problem, as suppressing the HIV virus is critical to preventing AIDS and allowing HIV patients to life a long and healthy life. It all comes down to treatment.

HIV diagnoses are decreasing but...

While it is true that HIV diagnoses are decreasing among blacks, African Americans still represent high percentages of all new cases of HIV. In 2015, black women still accounted for almost two-thirds of women living with HIV in the United States, and African Americans overall still accounted for 45 percent of new HIV diagnoses in 2015. Researchers have concluded from the numbers that treatment is simply coming too late for most African Americans.

Medical researchers like Dailey are pushing for more HIV testing in health-care and non-health-care settings. Detecting HIV early and getting treatment will prevent further infections within the black community.

Programs that will help

The CDC is working on programs that focus on helping African Americans in areas of need. States Daily, "CDC is pursuing an approach that focuses resources on programs and initiatives that can have the biggest impact," he said. "This includes targeted focus on African Americans and in geographic areas of greatest need -- including the South."

Read more about African Americans and HIV at www.medlineplus.gov/news/fullstory_163420.html
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