HIV and AIDS among African Americans

The first cases of AIDS among African Americans were identified in the early 1980s. Initially HIV and AIDS mainly affected gay men and intravenous drug users (IDUs) within the black community, much as it did in the rest of the population. However in 1983 the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) documented the first two cases of AIDS in women. Both women had acquired HIV through sex with an intravenous drug user. One of these women was Latina; the other was black.

From this point on, the AIDS epidemic began spreading rapidly amongst the African American population. Women were particularly affected and by 1988, African Americans accounted for half of all AIDS cases identified in females in the US. Today, over 60% of women with AIDS are black.

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