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Black AIDS Institute Discusses HIV Prevalence Among Blacks

Armen Hareyan's picture

"When nearly half of the estimated 1.2 million Americans living withHIV/AIDS are black, AIDS in America today is a black disease," PhilWilson, executive director of the Los Angeles-based Black AIDS Institute, said last week at a town hall meeting at Meharry Medical College, Tennesseancolumnist Dwight Lewis writes. The town hall meeting was part of atwo-day event, "Bringing Ethics to Life in Human Subjects Research: ACase Approach," sponsored by Meharry, Vanderbilt University Medical Center and FDA.

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Accordingto Wilson, "Black people make up 12% of the nation's population, butthey represent 54% of the new HIV/AIDS cases in America." He added,"Sixty-seven percent of the new HIV/AIDS [cases] among American womenare black, 42% of the new cases among men are black, and nearly 70% ofthe new cases among American youth [ages 13 to 21] are black."

Hesaid young people are "being infected because they're sexually active,"adding, "No one is taking the time to provide the tools and informationthey need to protect themselves." Wilson called for every "blackinstitution, from the faith to the educational to businesses to medicalinstitutions to entertainment to fraternal to civil rights" and"anybody who presumably cares about black people" to talk aboutHIV/AIDS. He said there is a "whole generation of young people whodon't know a world without AIDS, and we're the ones who need to dowhatever we can to help eliminate this disease" (Lewis, Tennessean, 9/30).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view theentire Kaiser WeeklyHealth 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, afree service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.