The Black AIDS Institute released Thursday its latest report on HIV infection and death rates in the U.S., revealing that infection rates among black gay men have gotten worse.
Some Christian churches have stepped up efforts to address the issue, with one pastor even getting tested from the pulpit.
Like Elev8 On Facebook To Enrich Your Mind, Body & Soul!
“Black MSM (men who sleep with men) continue to be first in line when it comes to need, but remain at the back of the line when it comes to assistance. This report not only highlights the gaps and why they still exist after 30 years, but it also provides a blueprint for how to close the gaps and move those most at risk up to the front,” said Phill Wilson, Founder and Executive Director of the Black AIDS Institute.
The institute urged that more importance be placed on the issue, and revealed that black gay men account for 1 in 500 Americans, yet represent nearly 1 in 4 new HIV infections. What is more alarming, they face higher risks of death after being diagnosed from AIDS – they are significantly less likely to be alive three years being diagnosed than Latino or white gay men.
The research study outlined that Washington, D.C., New York City and Los Angeles were among the cities that best addressed the needs of HIV-affected black gay men, while the worst were Gary, Ind., Memphis and Richmond.
Civil rights group the NAACP has also suggested that not enough African-American churches speak about how black Americans are disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS. In a manual titled “The Black Church & HIV: The Social Justice Imperative,” released on July 9, the NAACP suggests that many church leaders feel uncomfortable addressing the issue from the pulpit.
The issue of HIV/AIDS infection rates among African-Americans goes beyond homosexual men, as the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has predicted that one in 16 black men and one in 32 black women will be infected by HIV.
Some in the African-American community have been using the month of July, designated National HIV Awareness Month, to draw special attention to the issue.