Even though HIV medication helps those who contract the disease live longer, healthier lives, an alarmingly high number of people still contract the disease each year. Around 47,500 new HIV cases annually are diagnosed in the United States alone, and unfortunately, the disease seems to be affecting the black community the most. Not only do more Black Americans appear to contract the disease compared to other groups, but it also appears that they are more likely than other groups to die from it.
According to the Health Department, African-Americans constitute 53 percent of all HIV/AIDS cases in New Jersey, which is extremely alarming because they only make up 14 percent of the New Jersey population. In New Jersey alone over 36,000 people are battling the disease. In the last three years, 21 percent fewer African-American women have been reported in new HIV cases. Still, African-American women are still 20 times more likely to contract HIV than White-American women, according to statistics.
Gay and bisexual black men comprise more than half of the new HIV infections in 2010 in the gay and bisexual community between the ages of 13 and 24. That number went up by 22 percent from 2008 to 2010. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have released data from the HIV surveillance report from 2007-10 that confirms that gay and bisexual males have the most new cases of HIV annually compared to any other subgroup.
Experts believe that socioeconomic status plays a role in the continued growth of the disease in the African-American community. The higher poverty rates may leave people without the knowledge that they need on testing and prevention so they can stay healthy.