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Notice to Readers: National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, February 7, 2006

The sixth annual National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is February 7, 2006. This observance is sponsored by a coalition of nongovernment organizations, with support from CDC, to call attention to the disproportionate impact of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) on the black population in the United States.

In 2004, blacks accounted for 20,965 (49%) of the estimated number of AIDS cases diagnosed in the United States, although they represented only 12.3% of the U.S. population (1). HIV/AIDS was also among the top three causes of death for black men aged 25--54 years and among the top four causes of death for black women aged 25--54 years in 2002, the most recent year for which those data are available (2). HIV/AIDS was the leading cause of death for black women aged 25--34 years (2).

The 2004 rate of AIDS diagnoses for blacks was nearly 10 times the rate for whites and three times the rate for Hispanics. The rate of AIDS diagnoses for black women was 23 times the rate for white women. The rate of AIDS diagnoses for black men was eight times the rate for white men (1). The primary mode of HIV transmission for both men and women was sexual contact with men (1).

Race and ethnicity alone are not risk factors for HIV infection. However, blacks are more likely to face certain risk factors for HIV infection and barriers to testing and treatment, including poverty and limited access to health care and HIV prevention education (3--5). Testing, health-care, education, and prevention services remain critical to stopping the spread of HIV in this community.

Information about HIV/AIDS and the black community is available from CDC at telephone 1-800-CDC-INFO and at http://www.cdcnpin.org and http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/pubs/facts/afam.htm#5. Information about National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is available at http://www.blackaidsday.org.

References

  1. CDC. HIV/AIDS surveillance report, 2004. Volume 16. Atlanta, GA: US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC; 2005:1--46. Available at http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/stats/2004surveillancereport.pdf.
  2. Anderson RN, Smith BL. Deaths: leading causes for 2002. Natl Vital Stat Rep 2005;53(17):67--70. Available at http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr53/nvsr53_17.pdf.
  3. US Census Bureau. Poverty status of the population in 1999 by age, sex, and race and Hispanic origin. Washington, DC: US Census Bureau; March 2000. Available at http://www.census.gov/prod/2003pubs/c2kbr-19.pdf.
  4. Diaz T, Chu SY, Buehler JW, et al. Socioeconomic differences among people with AIDS: results from a multistate surveillance project. Am J Prev Med 1994;10:217--22.
  5. CDC. HIV transmission among black women---North Carolina, 2004. MMWR 2005;54:89--93.



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