A report by the Centre for Disease Control has found that by the end of 2014 African Americans accounted for an estimated 44% of all new HIV diagnoses, despite only making up 12% of the US population, with 57% of those diagnosed being gay or bisexual. The report also says that the number of black men diagnosed within the gay demographic has risen by 22% between 2005 and 2014, though it has stabilized to about a 1% increase since 2010.
The report also says that only 37% of the African American population living with HIV in 2012 were prescribed ART medications to treat the virus, and that the demographic accounted for 54% of deaths from HIV and AIDS in 2013. Additionally, in 2013 only 79% of African Americans began treatment for HIV and only 51% were able to retain care.
The report attributes the higher rates of HIV among African American communities to a number of factors. These communities face greater rates of other sexually transmitted diseases, which can increase the chance of contracting HIV. The report also says that while these communities face higher rates of the virus, they also have a tendency to have sexual contact within the community, leading to further transmission. The socioeconomic effect associated with increased poverty rates among these communities directly and indirectly attributes to “limited access to high-quality health care, housing, and HIV prevention education”
“Stigma, fear, discrimination, homophobia, and negative perceptions about HIV testing may also place many African Americans at higher risk and discourage testing.”