Apr 7, 2009
why are blacks more affected by hiv/aids then any other race
Response from Dr. McGowan
Thanks for your question.
In the United States, blacks and other people of color are affected by HIV/AIDS out of proportion to their makeup of the population. The major reason for this is that HIV is, itself, an opportunistic infection. HIV takes advantage of some factors that are disproportionately more common among people of color in the US: poorer socioeconomic status which leads to lack of access to medical care, less access to education about health and wellness, higher rates of single parent families and teenage pregnancy, more homelessness, and substance use. These have been the major social and political problems that have plpagued our nation since its foundation, and especially since the civil war. Once HIV gets a foothold in a community, it can spread silently unless it is recognized early. For this reason, in order to get ahead of this epidemic, all adults (aged 13 to 64), especially all African Americans, should ask for an HIV test. Knowing ones status is the only way to protect yourself (by getting treatment if you are positive and taking steps to remain negative if you test negative). The test can give you knowledge and the power for us to end HIV everywhere.
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