Blacks Hardest Hit by HIV in U.S.

Paul Simao, Reuters, June 13

ATLANTA—Blacks account for nearly half of the more than 1 million Americans with HIV, according to federal data released on Monday that suggests the battlelines of the nation’s AIDS epidemic are marked as much by race as by sexual preference.

An estimated 1,039,000 to 1,185,000 Americans were living with HIV at the end of 2003, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said at the 2005 National HIV Prevention Conference in Atlanta.

Forty-seven percent were black, a disproportionate figure considering that blacks make up about 13 percent of the U.S. population. Whites accounted for 34 percent of the HIV-positive population and Hispanics 17 percent.

Gay and bisexual men made up 45 percent of the total.

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The researchers also discovered that 67 percent of the black men in the group did not know they were infected before participating in the study, more than three times the percentage of whites who were unaware.

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