When I speak around the U.S., many people show indifference to the HIV/AIDS crisis because it's not "in our own backyard." Well guess what? It is. We do a good job at hiding it, but this brand new report from CNN tells a different story. Please everyone, read this entire article, get educated about this issue, then get involved! A good place to start is to join 5 for 50 today.
LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- The AIDS epidemic among African-Americans in some parts of the United States is as severe as in parts of Africa, according to a report out Tuesday.
"AIDS in America today is a black disease," says Phill Wilson, founder of the Black AIDS institute.
"Left Behind - Black America: A Neglected Priority in the Global AIDS" is intended to raise awareness and remind the public that the "AIDS epidemic is not over in America, especially not in Black America," says the report, published by the Black AIDS Institute, an HIV/AIDS think tank focused exclusively on African-Americans.
"AIDS in America today is a black disease," says Phill Wilson, founder and CEO of the institute and himself HIV-positive for 20 years. "2006 CDC data tell us that about half of the just over 1 million Americans living with HIV or AIDS are black."
Although black people represent only about one in eight Americans, one in every two people living with HIV in the United States is black, the report notes.
The report uses just-released data from UNAIDS and existing CDC and Census data to highlight grim statistics:
• AIDS remains the leading cause of death among black women between ages 25 and 34. It's the second-leading cause of death in black men 35-44.
• In Washington, more than 80 percent of HIV cases are among black people, that's one in 20 residents. iReport: AIDS in Washington's older population
"Five percent of the entire population (in DC) is infected... that's comparable to countries like Uganda or South Africa," Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CNN for the recent "Black in America" documentary.
According to this report, if black Americans made up their own country, it would rank above Ethiopia (420,000 to 1,300,000) and below Ivory Coast (750,000) in HIV population. Both Ethiopia and the Ivory Coast are among the 15 nations receiving funds from the President's Emergency Plan For Aids Relief. The United States has given about $15 billion to PEPFAR nations in the past five years.
Read the entire article here.