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HIV hits blacks
harder than other groups

HIV hits blacks
harder than other groups

African-American men are nearly seven times more likely to be diagnosed with HIV than white men, according to a report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The report showed that more than 60% of all new diagnoses of HIV are blacks aged 13-24.

The CDC's Robert Jansen told Reuters that about 3% of blacks in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., have been diagnosed with the disease, a rate higher than Senegal's and similar to Cameroon's in West Africa.

Blacks do not engage in riskier sexual behavior than other groups, but high HIV rates mean African-Americans who have sex with other African-Americans were more likely to contract HIV than people within other ethnic groups, he said.

Black leaders have been criticized for a slow reaction to HIV and AIDS, possibly due to a stigma against homosexuality.

"Certainly [there is] a sense of stigma related to homophobia," Jansen told Reuters. "There is certainly a stigma around how HIV is transmitted. There has not been a recognition in the community of how serious the problem is." (The Advocate)

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