(AllHipHop News) According the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), HIV is the third leading cause of death for Black women and men ages 35-44. Today, on the 17th anniversary of the death of Eazy E, from complications due to HIV, AllHipHop.com informs on this disease and the devastation it has wrought on the Black community.
Since the discovery and clinical observation of the disease in the 1980s, HIV and AIDS continue to be viewed as a disease that mostly affects homosexuals. However, African-Americans account for 44 percent of all new HIV infections, despite being only 14 percent of the American population. In fact, the CDC estimates that as many as one-in-32 African-American women will be diagnosed with HIV in their lifetime.
In a new study by the HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN) announced early March, 2,099 African-American women were tested for HIV. Of this number, 32 had the virus and were unaware of their status, within one year of the initial test; an additional .24 percent of women had contracted the disease. Women in the United States represent one-quarter of new infections, and 66 percent of these women… are Black.
According to the CDC, 85 percent of women infected with HIV, were infected through heterosexual sex. To further illustrate this point, Eazy E maintained that he never had a sexual encounter with a male. And, no women who claimed to be infected by Eazy E ever came forth.
“While African American women do not engage in more risky behaviors than other women, a complex range of social and environmental factors place them at greater risk for HIV,” the CDC said in a statement announcing the launch of a new campaign – “Take Charge. Take the Test.” – aimed at curbing the HIV crisis among Black women. The social and environmental factors that place Black women at a higher risk for the disease are lack of health care, poverty, and a stigma within the community that prevents testing.
In the HIV Prevention Trials Network study, six urban areas were identified as being hardest hit by the AIDS epidemic are: Baltimore, Atlanta, Raleigh-Durham, Washington, D.C., Newark, NJ, and New York City. The CDC’s new campaign, “Take Charge. Take the Test,” is encouraging people to know their status. Knowing your HIV status can inform the decisions women make and can be the first step to treatment. Most states offer free HIV testing, find the closest testing site to you at www.hivtest.org.
More information on the CDC, “Take Charge. Take the Test.” Initiative is available at www.actagainstaids.org.