The Minority/ Black Health Blog  

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

For the First Time in Years, HIV Diagnoses Among Black Women Are Decreasing

HIV Among Black Women is Decreasing

For the first time in years, the U.S. Centers For Disease Control reports that HIV diagnoses among black women has decreased. It has decreased by 24 percent among black women, and 20 percent among all women, between 2010 and 2014.

This is good news, since blacks represent nearly 13 percent of the U.S. population and accounted for 45 percent of the HIV diagnoses from 2010-2014, the highest rate among all other races and ethnicities. The CDC believes the decline may be associated with targeted HIV prevention efforts. Among all populations in the United States, the estimated number of annual infections declined 10 percent from 2010 (41,900) to 2014 (37,600).

Barriers among black women

The decrease is particularly impressive due to the fact that HIV is not openly discussed in the black community. This creates a barrier for black women who may not be comfortable asking whether or not their partner has been tested. They are also less likely to share their diagnoses with partners. It remains a stigma in the African-American community.

Not just a "gay" disease

There is also a stigma that HIV means you're gay. However, HIV is not just a gay disease. True, African American gay and bisexual men accounted for the largest number of HIV diagnoses between 2010 - 2014, but women are also at risk.

The CDC wants to educate more women about treatment options and life-saving drugs, like PrEP (pre-exposure prophylactic), which can prevent infection if taken with 72 hours of exposure to HIV. PrEP is effective on both women and men.

For more information on HIV statistics and HIV testing, visit www.cdc.gov/hiv/statistics/overview/ataglance.html
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