According to new data released last week, African Americans living with HIV are less likely to receive continuous care.
Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that blacks account for nearly half off all new infections, despite representing just 14% of the U.S. population.
But only about a third of Black Americans who are positive have achieved “viral suppression,” according to new research published in Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
Viral suppression means it “is under control at a level that helps keep people healthy and reduces the risk of transmission,” Donna Hubbard McCree, PhD told EBONY.com. Dr. McCree is the Associate Director for Health Equity of the CDC’s Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention. “That’s why it’s important on days like today that we keep the conversation out there.”
“Part of that conversation must be discussing things such as pre-marital sex and men who have sex with men. Unfortunately that is uncomfortable for many people,” Kimberly A. Parker, Ph.D., assistant professor of health studies at Texas Woman’s University told EBONY.com.
In 2010, just 75 of blacks who were diagnosed with HIV/AIDS were linked to care. About 50 percent remained in care and were prescribed antiretroviral therapy. 35 percent of HIV positive African Americans achieved viral suppression.
Roughly one-third of African Americans have never been tested. African American women account for more than 60 percent of all female infections in the country.
Thoughts on the news?
What ways can we stress the importance of HIV/AIDS awareness and education within the African American community?
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