I’d like to give a shout-out to CNN for their piece today on the continued rise of HIV among the African-American community, as the news organization draws attention to some extremely upsetting statistics that prove that safe sex is still a life-saver, and something that needs to be discussed publicly and at a high volume. As part of an exploration of the black American experience, CNN has highlighted an all too crucial need to address the prevalence of HIV among the population, with the shocking headline: Report: Black U.S. AIDS rates rival some African nations.  The article focuses on a report by the Black AIDS Institute (using statistics from UNAIDS, the CDC, and Census data) and includes the following:

“AIDS remains the leading cause of death among black women between ages 25 and 34. It’s the second-leading cause of death in black men 35-44.”

“According to this report, if black Americans made up their own country, it would rank above Ethiopia (420,000 to 1,300,000) and below Ivory Coast (750,000) in HIV population. Both Ethiopia and the Ivory Coast are among the 15 nations receiving funds from the President’s Emergency Plan For Aids Relief. The United States has given about $15 billion to PEPFAR nations in the past five years.”

“Five percent of the entire population (in DC) is infected… that’s comparable to countries like Uganda or South Africa.”

Sit up and take notice.  The AIDS crisis is not limited to far-flung shores, and it is certainly not limited to the original “H” factor lifestyles (Heroin, Haiti, Homosexuals) that stemmed the panic among middle-class white America back in the ’80s.   Our attention and efforts are needed as desperately as ever.

(Image found at The Super Spade).