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New HIV statistics indicate increasing toll of AIDS on African American community

The country's leading African-American lawmakers, civil rights leaders and medical experts today called on the federal government to adopt and implement a new blueprint to address the HIV/AIDS crisis in the African-American community. The plan is outlined in a new report, African-Americans, Health Disparities and HIV/AIDS: Recommendations for Confronting the Epidemic in Black America, written by Robert E. Fullilove, EdD, associate dean for Community and Minority Affairs and professor of Clinical Sociomedical Sciences at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. The report was released by the National Minority AIDS Council (NMAC) in advance of World AIDS Day (December 1).

Since the beginning of the HIV/AIDS epidemic 25 years ago, African-Americans have been overrepresented among those living with and dying from AIDS. The disease continues to affect African-Americans more than any other racial/ethnic group in the United States. Today, African Americans comprise only 13% of the U.S. population but account for over half of all new HIV/AIDS diagnoses. Over 200,000 African-Americans have died of AIDS, half a million are now living with HIV and blacks are 10 times more likely than whites to have AIDS. Confronting this national health disparity is a paramount concern.

NMAC's report, written by Dr. Fullilove, is a comprehensive analysis of the complex social, economic and personal factors that underpin the black AIDS epidemic. Its recommendations are endorsed by a blue-ribbon expert advisory panel of some 30 African-American leaders that includes, among others, Julian Bond (chairman, NAACP), Dr. Louis Sullivan (former Secretary of Health and Human Services), Dr. David Satcher (former U.S. Surgeon General), Marian Wright Edelman (president, Children's Defense Fund) and Marc Morial (president, National Urban League).

"At this time each year, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention releases new national HIV statistic
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Source:Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health


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