Blacks, MsM Remain Most Affected By HIV/AIDS

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Monday marks the 20th year for World AIDS Day, and the virus is continuing to affect the black community and men who have sex with men at disproportionate rates, the McClatchy/Detroit Free Press reports (Satyanarayana [1], McClatchy/Detroit Free Press, 11/29). An estimated 56,300 people in the U.S. contract HIV annually, and the black community accounts for almost half of new HIV/AIDS cases nationwide, the Northwest Indiana Post-Tribune reports.

HIV infections are growing fastest among black women, who are 15 times more likely to contract the virus than white women, according to CDC. AIDS-related causes are the leading cause of death among black women ages 25 to 34, and the third leading cause of death among black women ages 35 to 44. Andrea Perez, communities of color program manager for the Indiana Department of Health, said the No. 1 method of HIV transmission among black women is heterosexual sex. She added that it is unclear why the rate for black women is so high (Snelling, Northwest Indiana Post-Tribune, 12/1).

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In Detroit, between 2002 and 2006, half of all new infections each year were among black men, according to the McClatchy/Free Press. In addition 84% of people ages 13 to 24 in the city diagnosed with HIV are black. Michigan next year plans to launch a new awareness effort targeting the group. Over the next year, the Detroit Department of Health and Wellness Promotion is hoping to partner with 50 churches to help administer 15,000 HIV tests and educate church members on prevention measures.

Renee McCoy, the city's HIV/AIDS director, said, "Our goal is to figure out what our culture needs" (Satyanarayana [1], McClatchy/Detroit Free Press, 11/29).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Weekly Health Disparities Report, search the archives, and sign up for email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email . The Kaiser Weekly Health Disparities Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. © 2007 Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.

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