Saturday is National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

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Saturday, February 7, is National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD), an opportunity to raise awareness about the disproportionate burden of HIV/AIDS among African Americans. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), African Americans represent approximately 12% of the U.S. population, but accounted for 44% of new HIV infections and 43% of all people living with HIV in 2010.

While HIV incidence among black women has declined somewhat, they are still 20 times more likely than white women and nearly 5 times more likely than Hispanic/Latino women to become infected, mostly through heterosexual sex. African-American men are 7 times more likely than white men and twice as likely as Hispanic/Latino men to contract HIV.

More than 70% of new HIV infections among African-American men occur in black gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM). The incidence rate is higher among young black gay and bisexual men than any other group.

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"We are focusing on HIV disparities among MSM, including MSM of color, because black gay and bisexual men -- particularly young men -- remain the population most heavily affected by HIV in the U.S.," said Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell.

"We all have a role to play in working toward an AIDS free generation," Burwell continued. "Education and understanding prevention and treatment of HIV is important. And HIV testing is also critical as we continue to tackle this disease. One thing we can all do is speak out -- speak out against HIV stigma whenever and wherever you encounter it. Stigma and shame continue to prevent too many people from seeking testing and getting the health care they need to live healthy, active lives."

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Source

S Mathews Burwell. National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day: Reducing HIV Among African America Communities. Blog.AIDS.gov. February 4, 2015.