By the Numbers: Black HIV Testing and Infection
Part of Passing the Test: The Challenges and Opportunities of HIV Testing in Black America
MAP of the Black AIDS Epidemic in America
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.*
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* CDC, HIV Prevalence Estimates -- United States, 2006, MMWR, 57(39);1073-1076.
Black HIV Infection in America
The State of Awareness
Percent of men saying they have seen, heard or read "a lot" about the problem of AIDS in the United States during the last year.
| ||2009||33 percent|
| ||2009||23 percent|
| ||2009||9 percent|
Know Someone With AIDS
More Black Americans than any other racial/ethnic group report knowing someone close who has AIDS, has died from AIDS or who is HIV-positive.
|Close friend or family member||38||20||19|
|Acquaintance, co-worker or someone else||20||17||24|
|Don't know anyone||42||62||56|
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:
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:
Infection rate among Black men vs. white men for:
Sources: CDC, Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance, 2006. November 2007.
*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/STDFact-STD&HIV.htm#MoreInfo.54(24);597-601.
An estimated 14,410 Black, white and Latina women were newly infected in 2006. The racial breakdown among them was:
Source: CDC, Subpopulation Estimates from the HIV Incidence Surveillance System -- United States, 2006, 57(36);985-989. Data not available for any other ethnicity.
An estimated 39,820 Black, white and Latino men were newly infected in 2006. The racial breakdown among them was:
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|
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|
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:
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 infections was:
|Among Blacks||67 percent|
|Among Latinos||48 percent|
|Among Multiracial||50 percent|
|Among White||18 percent|
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:
Black 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 tested was:
|Among Blacks||21.7 percent|
|Among Latinos||12.6 percent|
|Among Whites||8 percent|
Lifetime Testing Rate
In 2009, more than half of all Black Americans over the age of 18 report having been tested for HIV at some point in their lifetimes. That's a significantly higher testing rate than any other racial or ethnic group.
Source: CDC, Early Release of Selected Estimates Based on Data From the 2007 National Health Interview Study, June 2008.
Views on Testing and Stigma
Most Black Americans in 2009 say they think testing would not lead to stigma.
|Would make no difference in how people think of you||69 percent|
|People would think more of you||19 percent|
|People would think less of you||7 percent|
|Don't know/refused||4 percent|
Impetus of HIV Test
Most Black Americans who take an HIV test say they specifically ask for it.
|Asked to be tested||54 percent|
|Doctor/nurse told me it was being done||25 percent|
|Impression it was routine part of exam||20 percent|
|Don't know/other||1 percent|
Timing of HIV Test Decision
Most Black Americans who take an HIV test say they decide to do it as part of another health visit.
|As part of another health visit||72 percent|
|Went specifically to be tested||27 percent|
|Don't know||2 percent|
Reasons for HIV Test
Most Black Americans who take an HIV test say "it just seemed like a good idea." Percentage of reasons stated by Blacks who report being tested, by men and women:
|Seemed like good idea||84||75|
|Do it every year||43||46|
Health Care Provider Suggested HIV Testing
Among those reporting, Blacks and Latinos more often say they are counseled by health professionals to have an HIV test than whites. Percentages by race and age:
Got HIV Test in Last 12 Months
Among those reporting, Blacks more often say they got an HIV test in the last 12 months than other racial/ethnic groups. Percentages by race and age:
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