NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

AIDS Epidemic Among Black Americans

January 16, 2001

While alarming statistics concerning the spread of AIDS in Africa have received considerable coverage in the U.S., much less has been written about the scourge of AIDS in the American black community. The numbers are astonishing.

  • The Centers for Disease Control now believes that one in every 50 black American men is infected with H.I.V.
  • AIDS is the leading cause of death for African-Americans between the ages of 25 and 44.
  • While blacks comprise just 13 percent of the U.S. population, more than half of all new H.I.V. infections occur among blacks -- and blacks are 10 times more likely to be diagnosed with AIDS, and 10 times more likely to die from it.
  • Black women account for 64 percent of all new AIDS infections among women in the U.S.

One in every 160 black women is believed to be infected with H.I.V. By comparison, one in every 250 white men is infected, and one in every 3,000 white women.

Source: Bob Herbert, "The Quiet Scourge," New York Times, January 11, 2001.


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