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Planned Parenthood Marks National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

New York, NY — Today, Planned Parenthood Federation of America marks National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day by reminding people of the importance of prevention and access to health care in combating the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the black community.

African Americans are the racial/ethnic demographic group most affected by HIV. New analysis released yesterday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that many HIV-positive African Americans do not receive the critical HIV care and treatment they need and, those under the age of 25 had lowest rate of receiving care. Additionally, a new CDC report on HIV infections and care among black men who have sex with men (MSM) in North Carolina underlined the role that testing and diagnosis play in engaging HIV-positive partners in treatment and care.

Statement from Dr. Vanessa Cullins, Vice President for External Medical Affairs, Planned Parenthood Federation of America:

“This data demonstrates the need to expand access to critical HIV testing and treatment for African Americans so that they can get the care they need — no matter what their HIV status. National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is an opportunity to raise awareness around this epidemic and work together toward the healthiest generation of African Americans.

"We know that blacks account for nearly half of Americans living with HIV and nearly half of all new HIV infections. An estimated 1 in 16 black men and 1 in 32 black women will be diagnosed with HIV infection in their lifetime. Despite progress, there is still work to be done — and we are committed to that work.

"Planned Parenthood is proud to help people access a wide range of critical health care services — including HIV testing and safer sex education — every day in communities across the country. We are also committed to educating people about the benefits of the Affordable Care Act and how they can access the critical health care they need to keep themselves and their communities healthy. Under the Affordable Care Act, millions more people will be eligible for health insurance and HIV care. It is a crucial tool in our nation's fight against HIV/AIDS.”

BACKGROUND


  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, African Americans are the racial/ethnic demographic group most affected by HIV. African Americans account for almost half of all HIV infections in the U.S. (510,000 out of 1.1 million people).



  • In 2010, African-Americans accounted for 44 percent of all new HIV infections. 



  • Despite the drop in infection rate for African-American women between 2008 and 2010, women of color remain disproportionately affected by HIV. African-American women accounted for 64 percent of all new infections in women in 2010, and the rate of new HIV infections among black women was 20 times that of white women.



  • Men who have sex with men are severely affected by HIV, having seen a 12 percent increase between 2008 and 2010. In particular, young black men who have sex with men account for more new HIV infections than any other subgroup of gay and bisexual me



  • In the United States, HIV infection rates remain highest in the South. Cities like Miami, Jackson, New Orleans, and Baton Rouge have some of the highest rates of HIV infection in the country — and the least access to affordable preventive health care.



  • The HIV/AIDS epidemic for African-American women living in the South is even more severe. They account for 71 percent of new HIV diagnoses among women in the region.



  • Under the Affordable Care Act, millions are eligible for health insurance and increased access to HIV counseling, testing, and care.



  • Especially important to those living with chronic medical conditions like cancer or HIV/AIDS, the ACA guarantees that no one can be denied coverage or charged more on the basis of pre-existing conditions. Additionally, insurance companies can no longer put a dollar limit on how much they will pay out for essential health benefits.



  • Planned Parenthood is among the nation's leading providers of HIV testing.  Last year, Planned Parenthood conducted 700,000 HIV tests.



  • In 2012, Planned Parenthood served more men than ever before — primarily for STD testing — as part of its commitment to provide affordable, quality health care to everyone.



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Planned Parenthood is the nation's leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation's largest provider of sex education. With more than 700 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.

— WebWireID185247 —


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