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National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

Today marks the observance of the 14th annual National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD), which serves as a reminder that HIV remains a major public health concern for African Americans more than 30 years after the first AIDS cases were identified.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published a new analysis on Thursday in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report examining the percentage of African Americans diagnosed with HIV infection who were receiving care and treatment in 2010.

According to the analysis, among Blacks who had been diagnosed with HIV:

· 75 percent were linked to care
· 48 percent stayed in care
· 46 percent were prescribed antiretroviral therapy
· 35 percent achieved viral suppression (i.e., the virus is under control at a level that helps keep people healthy and reduces the risk of transmitting the virus to others)

Compared to other racial/ethnic groups, African Americans face a higher risk of being exposed to HIV infection with each sexual encounter, according to the study. Additionally, African Americans account for “nearly half of the more than 1.1 million Americans living with HIV and nearly half of those with AIDS who have died since the beginning of the epidemic.”

You can read the full analysis here. Be sure to get tested regularly and practice safe sex.