Black Gay Men in America at Highest Risk For Contracting H.I.V.
According to a new study by the Black AIDS Institute, black gay men are the group most impacted by H.I.V. in America. The shocking report says that 1 in 4 black gay males is currently infected with H.I.V., and there is a 60% chance that a black gay male will be living with the disease by the time he is 40 years old.
What’s going on here? It’s not higher levels of risk that are to blame, according to the study, but ”their disproportionate risk of HIV can be traced to their poor access to health services, a high prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases, and early patterns of s****l behavior among young gay men.”
The study also says that no one is doing enough to address the H.I.V. crisis among black gay men:
No one has responded to this health crisis with the urgency it warrants. Federal agencies don’t even track HIV resources focused on Black gay men, and state and local governments badly under-prioritize prevention and treatment services for Black gay men. Neither Black America nor the LGBT community has made the fight against AIDS among Black gay men a priority. And only a handful of private foundations remain engaged in the AIDS fight.
These findings come on the heels of new revelations that half of all AIDS infected Americans are black men, women, and children. A recent NPR special revealed that “Of the more than 1 million people in the U.S. infected with HIV, nearly half are black men, women and children — even though blacks make up about 13 percent of the population. AIDS is the primary killer of African-Americans ages 19 to 44, and the mortality rate is 10 times higher for black Americans than for whites.”
The study from the Black AIDS Institute is worth reading in its entirety, and can be downloaded here.
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