Throughout Black History Month, Planned Parenthood is honoring the organizing efforts of Black community leaders through #28DaysofPower. As we work alongside these leaders to address the disproportionate impact of HIV/AIDS on Black communities, we are dedicated to highlighting the importance of access to comprehensive HIV prevention and care.
Recent findings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) highlight how Black communities in the U.S. continue to be disproportionately affected by HIV:
- In 2015, Black women were 16 times more likely to be diagnosed with HIV than White women.
- Nationally, Black women comprised 60 percent of women living with HIV by the end of 2014.
- Black Southerners make up only 20 percent of the population in the South, but in 2014 accounted for 54 percent of the region’s new HIV diagnoses.
- If current diagnosis rates continue, one in six of all men who have sex with men (MSM) will be diagnosed with HIV in their lifetime; for Black MSM one in two will be diagnosed.
- Despite the lifesaving advances in antiretroviral therapy (ART) for treatment and prevention, HIV remains an urgent public health crisis, especially for certain marginalized communities that face barriers to affordable, quality health care. According to a 2015 CDC surveillance report, Black people account for four in 10 Americans living with HIV and nearly half of all new HIV infections.
Given the history of substandard care and health care exclusion based on racial and gender bias — including potential provider bias in prescribing pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) across racial groups — it is critical that culturally competent health care providers build and maintain trust within the communities they serve.
Today, we recognize National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, and reaffirm our commitment to promoting access to HIV testing and treatment, addressing stigma, and working with Black community leaders working to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic.