The Black Epidemic: By the Numbers
Part of Making Change Real: The State of AIDS in Black America 2009 -- Executive Summary
HIV Infection in America
Race of Newly Infected
An estimated 56,300 people were newly infected in 2006, the most recent year for which data is available. The racial breakdown
among them was:
|Other Ethnicities||3 percent||
Race of All HIV-Positive
An estimated 1.1 million people are HIV positive in the United States. The racial breakdown among them is:
|Other Ethnicities||1.8 percent|
Rate of Infection
Black Americans were infected at a rate seven times that of whites in 2006 -- and Black women were infected at a rate almost 15 times that of whites. The number of people infected per 100,000,
by race, was:
|Among Native Americans||14.6|
|Among Asian/Pacific Islander||10.3||
Infection Over Time
Black Americans' share of new infections has grown steadily over time. By the late 1980s, Blacks began accounting for the largest share of new infections.
Estimated new human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections, by race/ethnicity, extended back-calculation model, 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, 1977-2006:
HIV Infections, Up Close
An estimated 14,410 Black, white and Latina women were newly infected in 2006. The racial breakdown among them was:
An estimated 39,820 Black, white and Latino men were newly infected in 2006. The racial breakdown among them was:
Among Gay and Bisexual Men
Gay and bisexual men accounted for more than half of all new infections in 2006. The racial breakdown among them was:
Where Newly HIV-Positive Live
The South is the modern epidemic's geographic frontline, in part because of its sizable Black population. The regional breakdown for new infections in 2006 was:
Map of the Black AIDS Epidemic
Black communities in the Northeast and Southeast -- particularly in Florida, Maryland and New York -- had the highest rates of HIV infection between 2002 and 2006. Overall, the prevalence of HIV among Blacks is nearly eight times that among whites.*
CDC, HIV/AIDS Surveillance by Race/Ethnicity, slide set, accessed December 17, 2008, at www.cdc.gov/hiv/topics/surveillance/resources/slides/race-ethnicity/index.htm.
*CDC, HIV Prevalence Estimates -- United States, 2006, MMWR, 57(39);1073-1076.
HIV Testing and Transmission in America
Race of Americans Tested
One in ten Americans said in 2006 that they got tested for HIV in the previous year, but Blacks tested at higher rates than any other racial or ethnic group. The share of people who reported getting
Race of Undiagnosed HIV-Positive
An estimated one in five HIV positive Americans don't know they are infected.* But the most recent race-based data shows more than half of positive Blacks are undiagnosed.
Source: Glynn MK and Rhodes P. Estimated HIV Prevalence in the United States at the end of 2003. Presentation at the 2005 National HIV Prevention Conference, June 14, 2005. Cited in CDC presentation to Black AIDS Institute physicians' forum, October 2006.
* CDC, HIV Prevalence Estimates -- United States, 2006, MMWR, 57(39);1073-1076.
How Black Men Get Infected
Male-to-male sexual contact was the primary risk factor for 72 percent of all men infected in 2006. Among Black men who tested positive, risk factors included:
|Male-to-male sex||63 percent|
|Heterosexual sex||20 percent|
|Injection drug use||12 percent|
|IDU and male-to-male sex||4 percent||
Undiagnosed Gay and Bisexual Men
A five-city study published in 2005 found 46 percent of Black gay and bisexual men to be HIV positive; well over half of them did not know it. The percentage of undiagnosed
|Among Multiracial||50 percent|
How Black Women Get Infected
Black women got infected at a rate 18 times that of whites in 2006. Risk factors included:
|Sex with men||80 percent|
|Injection drug use||20 percent||
How STDs Help HIV
A person with an STD is two to five times more likely to contract HIV when exposed to it, and HIV positive people who have an STD are more infectious.* In 2006, Blacks had the highest rates of all STDs.
|Infection rate among Black women vs. white women for:|
Sources: CDC, Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance,
2006. November 2007.
|Infection rate among Black men vs. white men for:|
*CDC, The Role of STD Detection and Treatment in HIV Prevention -- CDC Fact Sheet, accessed on December 17, 2008, at www.cdc.gov/std/hiv/STDFactSTD&HIV.htm#MoreInfo. 54(24);597-601.
HIV Treatment and Death in America
In 2006, 7,426 Black Americans died from AIDS -- more than twice that of any other group, but 1,253 fewer than the previous year. The racial breakdown for all Americans
killed by AIDS as of 2006 is:
Black Americans are less likely to live 10 years with HIV infection. The share of people diagnosed between 1997 and 2004 who were still alive after nine years
|Among Blacks||66 percent|
|Among Native Americans||67 percent|
|Among Latinos||74 percent|
|Among Whites||75 percent|
|Among Asian/Pacific Islanders||81 percent|
Since combination therapy became available in the mid-1990s, Blacks have represented the largest share of people with HIV infections that have advanced to AIDS.
Proportion of AIDS cases among adults and adolescents by race/ethnicity and year of diagnosis, United States and dependent areas, 1985-2006:
Source: CDC, AIDS Surveillance -- General Epidemiology through 2006, slide set accessed on December 20, 2008 at www.cdc.gov/hiv/topics/surveillance/resources/slides/epidemiology/index.htm.
Note: Data have been adjusted for reporting delays.