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African Americans

Fall 1999

On August 4th, a National Conference on African Americans and AIDS was held in Los Angeles. Representatives from various community agencies and several local, state and federal officials were in attendance.

A host of physicians touched on the resources allowing people to live with this disease, verses the alarming statistics of people dying from this disease. What hit a nerve was that these numbers showed that there is a health crisis in our black communities and a state of emergency has been declared by the Black Congressional Caucus.

The most recent statistics from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) are as follows: There are a total of 109,311 total AIDS cases among women in the United States (<- this number is "cumulative" AIDS cases. It includes women who have died from AIDS and those who are currently living with an AIDS diagnosis. This does not include women who are HIV diagnosed or those who may be positive and do not know it).

  • African American = 61,874
  • Caucasian = 24,456
  • Latinas = 21,937
  • Asian = 564
  • Native American = 310
  • Unknown = 170

I truly enjoyed Rev. Marvin McMickle, founder of the AGAPE project. I agreed with him when he mentioned that this disease is affecting everyone, whether white, black, gay, straight, on drugs or not. Whether you're an infant or elderly, in church or not affiliated with church at all, AIDS is a problem having to be faced by everyone. I hope more churches get involved in the fight against AIDS.

The highlight of the Conference for me was meeting Hydeia L. Broadbent. She is a 15 year old inspiration to all of us living with the AIDS virus.

We at Women Alive would like thank Dr. Wilbert C. Jordan, M.D and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine for inviting us.

Now we look forward to attending the National Conference on Women and HIV.

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This article was provided by Women Alive. It is a part of the publication Women Alive Newsletter.