Feb. 7, 2013: Blacks Disproportionately Affected by HIV/AIDS in the South
Today is National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD) and this year’s theme is “I am my Brother/Sister’s Keeper: Fight HIV/AIDS.” NBHAAD is focused on getting people educated, tested, involved and treated.
In the South, African Americans are disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS.
- In Alabama, African Americans were only 26% of Alabama’s population in 2011 but 69% of new HIV diagnoses. Moreover, African Americans are diagnosed at a rate that is 7x higher than whites. A staggering 78% of all HIV diagnosis in females are among African American females. (HIV Integrated Epidemiological Profile 2011)
- In Florida, Blacks accounted for 49% of total HIV diagnosis and 60% of AIDS case deaths in 2011, even though Blacks made up approximately 15% of Florida’s population. (HIV Among Blacks Fact Sheet)
- In Georgia, Blacks compromised 77% of new HIV/AIDS diagnoses in 2009. From 2000-2009, Black males were frequently diagnosed at a rate that was 5x that of white males and 3x that of Hispanic males. From 2000-2009, Blacks had an HIV death rate that was over 3x that of other racial/ethnic groups. (Basic Epidemiological Profile of HIV/AIDS)
- In Louisiana, 76% of new HIV diagnosis and 76% of new AIDS diagnosis were among African Americans in 2009. (Louisiana Public Health Institute)
- In Mississippi, African American males are 9x more likely to be diagnosed with HIV than white males. (Mississippi State Department of Health) In 2010, African Americans only compromised 37% of Mississippi’s population, but made up 78% of new HIV infections. (The Lancet)
- In North Carolina, in 2011, African Americans represented 68% of all HIV diagnoses. (2011 HIV/STD Surveillance Report)
- In South Carolina, the HIV case rate among African-Americans is approximately 10x greater than whites. African Americans make up only 28% of South Carolina’s population but 76% of recent HIV/AIDS diagnoses. Almost 7,000 African-American men in SC are living with HIV. (Maudlin Patch)
- In Tennessee, 57% of those diagnosed with HIV through the end of 2012, and 54% of HIV deaths, have been among African Americans even though African Americans only make up 17% of Tennessee’s population. In 2012, the HIV/AIDS case rate among African Americans was 9x that of whites. (WGNS Radio)
- In Texas, Blacks make up less than 12% of the state’s population but account for 40% of new HIV diagnoses and 38% of all people living with HIV in TX. In 2011, black women were only 12% of Texas female population, but 58% of new HIV diagnoses among females. In 2011, the HIV rate among Black men in Texas was 5x that of White men and 3x that of Hispanic men. An estimated 17.5% of Black gay men & MSM are living with HIV. (Texas DSHS)
- Washington, D.C. had the highest diagnosis rate for Blacks in the US in 2010. (Kaiser Family Foundation)
Notably, “[r]esearch shows that African Americans do not engage in riskier behavior than members of other racial/ethnic groups.” (CDC) However, social and economic factors, such as poverty, racial discrimination stigma, incarceration, and barriers to health care and housing, all contribute to the HIV epidemic in African American communities. (CDC)
The high rates of HIV among African American communities and these underlying social and economic determinants demonstrate that it is not only important to advocate for the end of HIV/AIDS in our communities today, but every day.
January 19, 2013: The South lags in Sexual Health
Recently, Variance, LLC, in partnership with the Center for Sexual Pleasure and Health, ranked the U.S. states and Washington, D.C. in sexual health using a composite index that considered the following:
- “Ability of individuals to have control over, and freely decide on, their own sexual behavior and experiences
- Ability of individuals to decide freely on whether, and when, to procreate
- Freedom from discrimination and violence related to sexuality and gender
- Experience of sexual pleasure and satisfaction
- Freedom from sexual morbidity, including HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections.”
These elements were derived from the World Health Organization’s definitions of sexual health, sexuality, and sexual rights.
The South, particularly the Deep South, ranked much lower than states in other U.S. regions in overall sexual health.
- Mississippi — 51
- Louisiana — 50
- Texas — 49
- Arkansas — 48
- Kentucky — 47
- Alabama — 46
- Oklahoma — 44
- Georgia — 43
- South Carolina — 42
- Tennessee — 41
- West Virginia — 39
- North Carolina — 38
- Florida — 31
- Virginia — 24
- District of Columbia — 20
- Delaware — 16
- Maryland — 13
States were also ranked by various indicators, including people in poverty, uninsured women, adults ever tested for HIV, sex education mandates and content requirements, and AIDS diagnosis. To see these rankings, click here.
This information is also compiled in the December 2012 report, Sexual Health Rankings: A Composite Index and Ranking of Sexual Health in the United States – 50 States and the District of Columbia.
December 21, 2012: Judge Orders Alabama to Stop Segregation of HIV Positive Prisoners
Judge Orders Alabama to Stop Segregation of HIV Positive Prisoners, which paves the way for HIV+ prisoners to access services, classes, and training available to other prisoners in Alabama prisons.
November 20, 2012: AIDS United Announces Access to Care Awardees
AIDS United has announced the five awardees of its Access to Care (A2C) initiative funded by a Social Innovation Fund (SIF) grant. Two of the A2C awardees are located in the South.
- First, a grant to Birmingham AIDS Outreach will support its collaboration with the University of Alabama at Birmingham 1917 Clinic. This collaboration, named“Birmingham Access to Care (BA2C),” will aim to “identify PLWHA who have fallen out of care, investigate influences that contribute to their dropping out of care, assess motivation of PLWHA to return to care, and provide necessary re-engagement in that care.”
- Second, a grant to Louisiana Public Health Institute will support a partnership named the “Louisiana Reentry Initiative (LRI),” which will aim to “address the unique retention needs of formerly incarcerated individuals living with HIV infection in Baton Rouge.”
November 16, 2012: Week in Review
Veterans Living with HIV/AIDS
- This week, we honored our Veterans. As of 2008, 51% of veterans living with HIV/AIDS lived in the South.1
- In the U.S., the Department of Veterans Affairs is the “largest single provider of medical care to people with HIV.”2
Transgender Awareness Week
This week was Transgender Awareness Week. In the U.S., transgender communities “are among the groups at highest risk for HIV infection.”3
In 2009, approximately 4,100 transgender persons were tested out of 2.6 million CDC-funded HIV tests.3 Newly identified HIV infection was:
- 0.3% for females
- 0.9% for males
- 2.5% among Hispanic transgender persons
- 2.6% among transgender persons
- 4.4% among Black transgender persons3
Transgender persons also face health disparities, as well as discrimination and a high degree of stigma.4 Among transgender persons:
- 28% have postponed seeking medical care because of fear of bias5
- 41% have postponed seeking medical care because of inability to pay5
- 62% have experienced depression6
- 41% have attempted suicide5
Transgender persons are more likely to lack health insurance. Among respondents, 31% of Black transgender persons; 19% all transgender respondents; 17% white transgender respondents; and 15% of the general population reported lacking any health insurance.5
Health Care Exchanges
Today marks the original deadline for states to decide whether to create a health insurance exchange. However, the deadline has been extended until December 14.7 As of today, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, South Carolina, and Texas will default to the federal exchange; Mississippi has declared a state-based exchange; North Carolina is planning for a partnership exchange; and Florida, Tennessee, and Virginia are undecided.8 The Kaiser Family Foundation has established a portal to compare how states are handling the health insurance exchanges.
For more information about Health Care Reform, see http://healthreform.kff.org. The Kaiser Family Foundation has published “The Affordable Care Act, the Supreme Court, and HIV: What Are the Implications?“ and a “Summary of New Health Reform Law.“
North Carolina’s ADAP Waiting List
On November 9, the North Carolina AIDS Action Network announced that “[f]or the first time in 34 months, [North Carolina] is approving all ADAP applicants with family income up to 300 percent of the federal poverty level who meet other program requirements, providing them immediate access to the life-saving HIV/AIDS drugs they need.” Read more here.
World AIDS Day
World AIDS Day is less than two weeks away. Learn more about #WAD2012 “Getting to Zero: Zero new HIV infections. Zero discrimination. Zero AIDS related deaths” at www.worldaidsday.org.
To order red ribbons for your organization, check out www.worldaidsday.org/red-ribbon-order-form.php.
1 Veterans with HIV/AIDS, http://www.hiv.va.gov/provider/state-of-care/veterans.asp
2 VA National HIV/AIDS Website,
3 HIV Among Transgender People,
4 Injustice at Every Turn: A Report of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey, www.thetaskforce.org/downloads/reports/reports/ntds_summary.pdf
5 National Transgender Discrimination Survey Report on Health and Health Care,
6Understanding the T in LGBT,
7 U.S. Extends Deadline for States on Health Insurance Exchanges,
8 State Decisions for Creating Health Insurance Exchanges in 2014, as of November 16, 2012,
November 9, 2012: SASI Report Cited in Funding Report
SASI’s report was recently cited in the report, U.S. and European Philanthropic Support to Address HIV/AIDS in 2011, by Funders Concerned About AIDS (FCAA) and the European HIV/AIDS Funders Group (EFG).
This report highlights the gaps in the South, which has the highest rate of new HIV infections and the largest number of PLWHA in the U.S. The South also has more AIDS diagnosis and AIDS deaths than any other U.S. region. In 2010, 47% of estimated new HIV infections were in the South, and at the end of 2009, 41% of PLWH in the U.S. were living in the South.1
This report also highlights the gaps in linkages to care, with only 25% of PLWH in the U.S. receiving continuous care and treatment; harm reduction, with a federal funding ban on needle and syringe programs; and Black Americans and MSMs, which account for a disproportionate percentage of new HIV infections.
Other highlights from the report include:
- In 2011, total HIV/AIDS philanthropic funding was $644 million (a 5% increased over 2010).
- In 2011, U.S.-based funders dispersed $491 million for HIV/AIDS (a 3% increase over 2010, although the majority of U.S.-based funders decreased HIV/AIDS funding in 2011). This disbursement funded 5,561 HIV/AIDS-related projects and grants.
- Of this $491 million, $221 million was directed towards global projects, $179 million was directed towards non-U.S. countries and regions, and $98 million was directed towards the U.S. epidemic.
- Of this $98 million, $23 million was directed towards prevention, $21 million was directed towards treatment, and $21 million was directed towards social services. U.S. funding targeted African Americans, MSMs, and homeless/impoverished PLWHA.
- In 2011, the South received $28 million in philanthropic HIV/AIDS funding. The South and the Northeast received the highest share of U.S. funding.
- The leading U.S. philanthropic funders in the South were M*A*C AIDS Fund & M*A*C Cosmetics ($4,101,288); Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation & Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. ($3,493,685); AIDS United ($3,204,403); Gilead Sciences, Inc. ($2,708,013) The Ford Foundation ($2,655,000).
In addition to this report, FCAA has created a Funders’ Guide to the National HIV/AIDS Strategy.
1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. HIV Surveillance Report, Vol. 22, 2012. Available at www.cdc.gov/hiv/surveillance/resources/reports/2010report/index.htm.