Our HIV crisis: All incidence is not equal

Published: February 18, 2015

Yale Daily News
Kyle Tramonte
Original Article:  bit.ly/1G3Clm0

Despite representing only 13 percent of the U.S. population, African Americans account for nearly half of all new HIV infections each year. Rates of transmission among injecting drug users, black women and black infants born to seropositive mothers continue to decline, but HIV incidence among gay and bisexual men who are young and black has charted a steady rise.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates are jarring: Their numbers suggest that one in five black men who have sex with men (MSM) living in a major city already has HIV. Forty percent of these cases will progress to AIDS. This is all compounded by the fact that black MSM are the most likely demographic subgroup to date other members of their own race.

Yet, if we ask Americans where the virus destroys lives, a majority will point beyond our borders.

A very clear transitive relationship exists: Socioeconomic issues associated with poverty — limited access to health care, housing and HIV prevention education — undoubtedly increase the risk of infection. The poverty rate is higher among African Americans than other racial and ethnic groups. Therefore, we should expect baseline incidence of HIV among black Americans to be higher than for other groups.

Full text of article available at link below:  bit.ly/1G3Clm0

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