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  The Minority/ Black Health Blog  

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Why Oh Why Do African Americans Still Account for More Than Half of New HIV Diagnoses?

African American With HIV

Two new studies by the U.S. government show that African Americans still have the highest amount of diagnoses and the highest amount of deaths due to HIV. Although African Americans represent only 12 percent of the population in the U.S., they also represent more than one-third of people in the United States infected with HIV.

The latest facts on HIV among African Americans

The studies were done by the U.S. Centers For Disease Control and Prevention. The good news is that the death rate due to HIV among African Americans has declined 28 percent from 2008 to 2012 in the United States, which is the largest decline among any racial group. But the death rate for blacks still remains 13 percent higher than the death rate for whites and 47 percent higher than the death rate for Hispanics due to HIV. Blacks also represent almost 55 percent of all new HIV cases.

Better prevention and treatment needed

The new studies showed a very clear need to provide better health services that will offer increased prevention among the black community. Information from the CDC shows that about 15 percent of blacks with HIV are not aware that they are infected, and those who have been diagnosed are not receiving the proper care and treatment. Early detection and treatment are critical to survival of HIV.

One example that points to the need for better diagnosis and treatment came from the CDC research. Researchers discovered large gaps in proper health care for blacks who were diagnosed with HIV. Among blacks newly diagnosed with HIV, only about 54 percent were referred to HIV prevention services.

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