HIV/AIDS Is Leading Cause of Death for African-American, Latina Women in Pennsylvania
February 20, 2003
"The AIDS Crisis in Pennsylvania: The Hidden Epidemic Among African American and Latina Women," a recent report from the Philadelphia AIDS Consortium, focuses on the changing face of the AIDS epidemic and highlights issues related to prevention efforts. It notes that African-American and Latina women are the fastest growing and most at-risk groups in the HIV/AIDS population.Adapted from:
The groups represent a disproportionately high percentage of AIDS cases among women both in the United States and in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Data show that in 2001, more than 80 percent of female AIDS cases in the United States occurred in women ages 25-49. CDC statistics show that HIV/AIDS was the leading cause of death in 1999 for African-American women ages 25-34 in the United States as a whole and in Pennsylvania. For those ages 35-44, it was the third leading cause of death in the United States and the second in Pennsylvania.
The death rate of Latinas from HIV/AIDS is significantly higher in Pennsylvania than in the country as a whole. Among Latinas ages 25-34, HIV was the leading cause of death statewide, compared to the fourth leading cause of death nationally. For Latinas ages 35-44, HIV ranked third nationally but second in Pennsylvania.
In response to the crisis, TPAC board President Luciano Orsini said, "TPAC is planning a focused prevention campaign and hopes to create a greater public awareness of this crisis. Reaching these populations through effective prevention efforts must involve a clear understanding of the social, cultural and economic forces impacting the HIV/AIDS risk factors of African Americans and Latinas."
"I am sick of the secretive way my community deals with HIV," said Jeannette Perez, an HIV-positive Latina from Philadelphia. "This study is proof that it is time to reach out to each other so we can prevent further spread of the epidemic."
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.