Young Black people are much more concerned about the global HIV and AIDS epidemic in comparison to all other demographic in America, according to a new study. And it’s for good reason, too, as African-Americans are affected the most by the sexually transmitted virus despite having a disproportionate representation among the overall population.
Nearly half of Black Americans from 18 to 30 years old were especially worried about HIV and AIDS when it comes to people they know. That figure of 46 percent was more than three times the number for White people, a survey conducted by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation found. The survey was published Thursday, one day before the annual observation of World AIDS Day.
Exacerbating those findings are the fact that Black Americans “account for a higher proportion of new HIV diagnoses, those living with HIV, and those ever diagnosed with AIDS, compared to other races/ethnicities,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
As such, about 34 percent of Black people were rightfully concerned about contracting the disease, compared to just 16 percent of White people.
There appeared to be a silver lining when it comes to awareness, though: Young Black folks are also the ones most likely to get an HIV test, a key fact considering the virus is older than they are.
“An entire generation has been born and grown up without ever knowing a time when HIV did not exist, and they may be the first to see it end,” Tina Hoff, Senior Vice President, Health Communications and Media Partnerships, Kaiser Family Foundation, said in a press release. “Whether this future is realized rests with those most affected being educated about – and having access to – the latest advances in prevention and treatment.”
In the U.S., Black people accounted for 40 percent of Americans living with HIV in 2013, the year with the most recent statistics available, according to the CDC.
Black people in general around the world have also been lopsidedly diagnosed with HIV and AIDS, with Africa being ground zero with a reported whopping 69 percent of the world’s 34 million HIV diagnoses. More than 90 percent of HIV positive children around the world are in Africa, as well.
While there has yet to be a cure, vaccine trials are ongoing, including one that recently launched in sub-Saharan Africa, according to the National Institutes of Health.