No matter how you look at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's numbers on African-American women and HIV, the news is bad: The agency said that black women account for almost 60 percent of all new HIV infections among women and 13 percent of new infections overall. And the rate of new infections among black women is 15 times higher than among white women.
The CDC emphasizes research showing that African-American women do not engage in riskier behaviors than other women do — rather, a complex mix of epidemiologic, social and environmental factors places them at greater risk for HIV. In response to those, the CDC has launched the "Take Charge. Take the Test" campaign this week to encourage black women to talk openly with their partners about HIV, get tested and insist on safe sex. It's based in 10 cities around the country where black women have particularly high rates of infection.
"This campaign is just one part of the solution," said Donna Hubbard McCree, Ph.D., associate director for health equity at the CDC's Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention. "All of us have a role to play in stopping the spread of HIV among black women: by talking to our sisters, daughters, husbands and boyfriends about how to protect ourselves against HIV and the importance of getting tested; by speaking out against stigma; and by tackling the social inequities that place so many of us at risk for HIV."
Read more at the International Business Times.