Symbol of awareness for world AIDS day

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On Dec. 1, the world will see its 34th annual World AIDS Day. This day meant to focus on raising awareness of the spread of HIV and AIDS, and to honor those we have lost to this deadly disease.

Thanks to modern medicine, each year, the day becomes a little less dark. With preventative meds like PrEP that can help stop the spread of HIV and viral suppression treatments that can make HIV levels nearly undetectable in infected individuals, the world is, in many ways, winning the battle against HIV/AIDS.

However, for Black communities, HIV/AIDS is still very much in a state of a pandemic. Black women in particular continue to face rising rates of HIV infection and AIDS-related death more than any other ethnic or racial group. Humanity cannot be healthy as a whole until the health of Black women is prioritized. And fighting HIV/AIDS in this group is critical to fighting health disparities at large in the Black community. On this World AIDS Day, here’s a closer look at how the medical community still has a long way to go in helping Black women fight HIV/AIDS.

 

A Look At The Numbers + Data

Doctor hold HIV antigen positive test result rapid test cassette.

Source: Md Zakir Mahmud / Getty

Six in 10 new cases are in Black women. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Black women are diagnosed with HIV at disproportionately higher rates than any other group. In fact, Black women account for slightly over half of new HIV cases in women.

Fifty percent of infected Black women don’t get treated. According to the Black Women’s Health Imperative, roughly half of Black women living with HIV are not receiving viral suppression treatment.

Five and 15 times higher. Those are the rates at which Black women are diagnosed with HIV compared to Latin American and white women, respectively.

A top cause of death. Currently, HIV/AIDS-related illnesses remain one of the leading causes of death among Black women ages 25 to 34.

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