Half of New HIV/AIDS Cases in America Occur in Blacks

The high HIV/AIDS diagnosis rate in black men prompts call for action

THURSDAY, March 8 (HealthDay News) -- Between 2001 and 2005, more U.S. blacks were diagnosed with HIV and AIDS than all other ethnic groups combined, according to a report in the March 9 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention analyzed the confidential HIV/AIDS diagnoses reported by 33 states in 2001-2005.

The researchers found that blacks, which represented 13 percent of the total U.S. population in the 33 states during the study period, made up 50.5 percent of the 184,991 new HIV/AIDS diagnoses in that time. Black patients made up 48 percent of new cases among 25 to 44 year olds, the age group with the majority of new cases. By contrast, whites represented 72 percent of the population but made up 29.3 percent of new HIV/AIDS cases.

Most new HIV/AIDS cases among black men occurred in those who had male-to-male sex (51.7 percent) and most cases in black women involved high-risk heterosexual sex (80.4 percent).

"The high rate of infection among blacks highlights the need to scale up known, effective HIV-prevention interventions and to implement new, improved, and culturally appropriate HIV/AIDS strategies," the authors write.

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