AIDS Prevention Efforts Target Black Communities
AIDS testing clinics, prayers and breakfasts were the order of the day Monday as the United States observed the fourth annual HIV/AIDS Awareness and Information Day to mark the devastating impact the disease has had on the nation's black communities.
From 2000 to 2003, more than half of new HIV diagnoses in 32 states were among blacks, although they made up only 13 percent of the population in those states, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And as recently as two years ago, black men had the highest rate of HIV diagnoses of any racial or ethnic group -- approximately seven times the rate among white men, the CDC said in a statement.
Moreover, 69 percent of women who were diagnosed with HIV/AIDS from 2000 to 2003 were black, the agency said.
The CDC said its prevention efforts in black communities would focus on expanding access to voluntary HIV counseling and testing, and providing additional screening programs for all sexually transmitted diseases, which by themselves can raise a person's risk of acquiring the HIV virus.
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