February 8, 2012
CDC marked Tuesday, National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, by stressing its commitment to ending an epidemic that disproportionately affects African Americans.
"At CDC, HIV prevention in black communities remains one of our top priorities," said Dr. Kevin Fenton, director of CDC's National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention. "Last year, we invested more than half of our HIV prevention budget to fight HIV among African Americans.
"We've expanded initiatives to reach more African Americans with HIV testing, increased the number and reach of HIV prevention programs in black communities, and are working with our partners, like those in the Act Against AIDS Leadership Initiative, to launch campaigns aimed at increasing HIV testing and awareness among black women and black gay and bisexual men, among other groups," Fenton said.
The director said testing and awareness are the best ways to prevent future HIV infections. "We must also tackle factors such as homophobia and stigma -- far too prevalent in many communities -- that prevent too many in the black community from getting tested, and if HIV-positive, from getting treated," added Fenton.
"The harsh reality is that today, even in the face of great hope and promise, African-American communities continue to be devastated by HIV," said Fenton. "Although only 14 percent of the US population, African Americans account for almost half of those living and dying with HIV and AIDS in this country."
For more information, visit www.cdc.gov/Features/BlackHIVAIDSAwareness/.