The Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention is urging
African-Americans to take part in a three-point pledge to
fight HIV/AIDS for Black AIDS Awareness Day on
In a statement
released Wednesday, Dr. Kevin Fenton -- the CDC's director
of the National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD,
and TB Prevention -- is urging the black population
"to ACT" -- through increased Awareness,
Communication, and Testing -- against HIV.
"There is a great
deal of work to be done," Fenton wrote in the
statement. "But we are also encouraged by hopeful signs in
recent years, from dramatic reductions in the number
of babies born with HIV to evidence of reductions in
new HIV infections among African-American women."
account for roughly half of the more than 1 million
people living with HIV in the United States -- while
only representing 13% of the general population.
According to the
CDC, African-American men have the highest rate of HIV
infection in the country. In 2005, the rate of HIV diagnosis
among black men was nearly seven times higher than
that of white men. Black gay and bisexual men
represented more than half of all diagnoses.
African-American women's rate of infection was more than 20
times that of white women that year. (The