The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this week issued 27 grants totaling $21 million for HIV prevention programs targeting African-Americans, American Indians, Alaska Natives, Asian and Pacific Islanders, and Latinos. Those minority groups are at a high risk of HIV infection, according to CDC officials. The grants represent an increase of $760,000 over last year's funding level. The money will be used for capacity building, prevention initiatives, community planning, and access to prevention services. "Minority communities are disproportionately affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic," said Health and Human Services secretary Tommy Thompson in announcing the grants. "Partnerships with these communities are critical if we are to get testing and treatment to the people at risk and ultimately reduce the number of new infections." According to the CDC, 55% of new HIV infections between 1999 and 2002 occurred among African-Americans, while Latinos accounted for 11% of new HIV cases.