Blacks More Worried About HIV Than Whites

Among respondents to a recent Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) survey, blacks were six times more likely than whites to be very concerned about becoming infected with HIV.

The survey posed the question, "Bearing in mind the different ways people can be infected with HIV, how concerned are you personally about becoming infected with HIV?" Only 6 percent of whites said they were "very concerned," compared to 38 percent of blacks. When those replies are combined with responses from persons indicating they are "somewhat concerned," 51 percent of African Americans expressed worry about HIV compared to 16 percent of whites and 42 percent of Latinos.

Thirty-two percent of Latinos and African Americans alike said they were "not at all concerned" about contracting HIV, compared to 58 percent of whites.

Among black respondents, 38 percent said a close friend or family member had tested positive for HIV or died of AIDS, compared to 20 percent of Latinos and 19 percent of whites.

"African Americans and to a lesser extent Latinos express more interest in and urgency about the HIV epidemic than whites," said the report. "They are more likely to name it as an urgent problem for the nation and their local community, to express personal concern about becoming infected, and to say they have heard a lot about AIDS in the US in the past year. They are also more likely to say the US is losing ground on the problem of HIV/AIDS and to think that spending more money on HIV treatment will lead to meaningful progress in slowing the epidemic."

Last month, the Obama administration, CDC and KFF, acting in concert with 14 national black groups, launched "Act Against AIDS" -- a five-year initiative focusing on AIDS education, prevention, and treatment. NNPA is a partner in that effort.