By// Raven Craig
NPR reports that while the number of new HIV infections in the U.S. is stabilizing— that’s about 50,000 people each year — HIV is on the rise in young people under 25. Unfortunately, young Black men are leading the group with new infection rates.
According to a Centers for Disease Control (CDC) study published last Tuesday, more than half of newly HIV-infected youth between the ages of 13-24 were African-Americans. Nearly 80 percent of those Black youth were men in that age group. The CDC has estimated that at some point in their lifetimes, 1 in 16 Black men will be diagnosed with HIV, as will 1 in 30 Black women.
Most of those youth infected with HIV are unaware that they have it.
It’s unacceptable that with all the information prevalent about HIV/AIDS that so many people are still contracting the virus, especially in the Black community. The Grio reports that the African-American demographic has historically had higher rates of HIV than any other racial group. In 2010, the number of African Americans infected with HIV was nearly three times higher than Hispanics/Latinos and eight times higher than Whites.
There are ways to protect yourself:
–Educate yourself, family and friends on the prevalence of the disease.
–Educate yourselves on methods of protection.
–Use protection with every intimate encounter.
–Get tested regularly.
–Monogamy and regular testing with your trusted partner.
-Abstain from sharing needles and syringes from non-prescription drugs.
Learn more at the CDC.