A painful new study was released today from the Black AIDS Institute revealing some grim data. CNN has an excellent online piece with lots of information.

Here are some highlights:

  • Five percent of the DC population is infected with AIDS; 80 percent of the cases are black
  • AIDS is the leading cause of death among black women (age 25 – 34) and black men (age 35 – 44)
  • If Black America were a country, it would rank 35th in population, 28th in economic performance and 16th in people living with HIV
  • Half of U.S. AIDS cases are among African-Americans.

Part of the focus of the Black AIDS Institute is to call on more from the government in terms of funding prevention and treatment here in the U.S., not just overseas in Africa.

From CNN

The report states that the U.S. government “increased spending on HIV prevention, treatment and support programs for low-income countries dramatically, at the same time that domestic remained all but flat.”

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, domestic prevention efforts make up the smallest part of the HIV/AIDs budget, the 2009 budget request includes $892 million for domestic HIV prevention efforts, the same as in 2008.

In this report, Wilson and others urge the federal government and private foundations to significantly increase funding for HIV prevention and treatment programs. The report also calls on international agencies to hold the U.S. government accountable for failure to address HIV/AIDS epidemic in its own country (despite lauding it for its PEPFAR efforts). It also urges black communities in the United States to fight the stigma and overcome prejudice associated with being infected with HIV.

Stereohyped covered the report’s release, and many commenters there said black folks don’t need funding, they just need to use more condoms.

Finally, the International AIDS Conference will take place in Mexico City next week. Global Voices Online has a post calling for videos on the subject and offers some compelling clips.

What do you think contributes to the disproportionate cases of AIDS among blacks: economic conditions, massive incarceration, culture/stigma/silence?

What do you think should be done?

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