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Sunday, September 21st, 2014

Rate of New HIV Infections Among African-American Women Declines

A new report from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention states that the rate of HIV infection among African-America women has decreased, but still remain the most likely race to be affected by the virus among women. The study said that though blacks make up 70 percent of new HIV cases among women, the total number of new HIV cases for African-American women dropped by 21 percent. The figures place black women at a risk 20 times higher than their white counterparts.

Still, the data collected between 2008 and 2010 recorded a drop in the new HIV infection rate for African-American women for the first time. As a whole, male and female African-Americans are responsible for 44 percent of new HIV infections over that time period, despite only making up 14 percent of the population. The CDC attributed the positive trend to the success of HIV awareness programs.

“As a country, we are still often afraid to provide developmentally appropriate sex education to young people, despite significant scientific findings that show education about sex does not lead to increases in sexual behavior among youth,” Parsons said. “Young gay and bisexual men typically get no targeted sex education messages in the school systems, and may not actually receive the kind of education they need until long after they leave school — at which point it might very well be too late.”

Young gay and bisexual men are increasingly at risk according to the report, with the rate of new infections among that group rising by 12 percent. The group has already been acknowledged as particularly vulnerable to the disease, accounting for 63 percent of new HIV infections.

“The honest truth is that some communities are kind of set up to fail,” LGBT health care provider Daniel Pohl told the Chicago Sun Times. “There’s just dramatically more chance that any one encounter or partnership would expose that person to infection. That’s certainly true of young gay men,” he said, speaking about the biological process HIV transfer.

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