As public health advocates prepare for National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day on Tuesday, there are encouraging signs that the country is making progress in the fight against HIV among African Americans.
However, HIV remains a serious health crisis in the black community, as African Americans account for almost half of all annual HIV diagnoses in the United States and a third of the 1.2 million people living with HIV.
New Centers for Disease and Prevention (CDC) analyses released last week show that:
In 2014, one in five African Americans newly diagnosed with HIV had already progressed to AIDS by the time their infection was diagnosed.
Fewer than half of African Americans with HIV have achieved viral suppression through care and treatment – meaning the virus is under control and at a level that dramatically reduces the risk of transmission.
But the good news is that prevention efforts are paying off, particularly for women: the disparity in HIV diagnosis rates between African American women and white women shrank by almost 25 percent from 2010 to 2014.
There are more tools available today to build on progress toward ending HIV. For those living with HIV, getting tested is the first step to care and treatment, which can keep individuals with HIV healthy and reduce the likelihood of transmitting the virus to others.