the impact of HIV/AIDS on African Americans has grown over time, so have
the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) efforts to
address it. We are highly committed to reducing the disparities that
exist among African Americans, but we realize that we cannot do it
alone. We believe that a heightened, urgent, and collaborative response
among CDC, community members, and influential leaders is necessary to
decrease HIV/AIDS among African Americans.
Documents Highlighting CDC's Heightened Response
HIV/AIDS and African American Women: A Consultation Supporting CDC’s
Heightened National Response to the HIV/AIDS Crisis among African
Americans, June 20-21, 2007
- Slide Sets
- “Can You Hear Me Now?” Linking STIs and HIV
- HIV/AIDS among African Americans: CDC’s
Strategies for a Heightened National Response
- National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral
Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention Priorities
- Stop TB in the African-American Community
- The HIV/AIDS Epidemic and Black Americans
- Triple Stigma: Race, HIV, and Drug Use
- U.S. DHHS - Office on Women’s Health
- Viral Hepatitis Prevention: Overview &
Other CDC Activities Addressing HIV/AIDS in African American
Please note: The reference numbers in the text below will take you to the
References section of the CDC fact sheet HIV/AIDS among African Americans.
CDC estimates that
56,300 new HIV infections occurred in the United States in 2006 . Populations of minority races and ethnicities are
disproportionately affected by the HIV epidemic. To reduce further the incidence
of HIV, CDC announced the
Advancing HIV Prevention (AHP)
initiative in 2003. This initiative comprises 4 strategies: making HIV testing a
routine part of medical care, implementing new models for diagnosing HIV
infections outside medical settings, preventing new infections by working with
HIV-infected persons and their partners, and further decreasing perinatal HIV
CDC has also established the African American HIV/AIDS Work Group to focus on
the urgent issue of HIV/AIDS in African Americans. The work group developed a
comprehensive response to guide CDC’s efforts to increase and strengthen
HIV/AIDS prevention and intervention activities directed toward African
Americans. Already, CDC is engaged in a wide range of activities to involve
community leaders in the African American community and to decrease the
incidence of HIV/AIDS in blacks.
For example, CDC
- Funds demonstration projects
evaluating rapid HIV testing in
historically black colleges and
universities as well as projects to
improve the effectiveness of HIV testing
among black women and MSM.
- Conducts epidemiologic research focused on
- Brothers y Hermanos, a study of black and Latino MSM conducted in Los Angeles, New York, and Philadelphia that aims to identify and understand risk-promoting and risk-reducing sexual behaviors.
- Women’s Study, a study of black and Hispanic women in the southeastern United States that examines relationship dynamics, and
the cultural, psychosocial, and behavior factors associated with HIV infection.
- Addresses, through the
Minority AIDS Initiative, the health disparities experienced in the communities of minority races and ethnicities at high risk for HIV infection. Funds are used to address the high-priority HIV prevention needs in such communities, including funding community-based organizations (CBOs) to provide services to African Americans. Examples of the programs that CBOs carry out are
- A program in Washington, DC, that provides information to, and conducts HIV prevention activities for, MSM who do not identify themselves as homosexual. The activities include a telephone help line; Internet resources; and a program in barbershops that includes risk-reduction workshops, condom distribution, and training barbers to be peer educators.
- A program in Chicago that provides social support to help difficult-to-reach African American men reduce high-risk behaviors. This program also provides women at high risk for HIV infection with culturally appropriate, gender-specific prevention and risk-reduction messages.
- A program in South Carolina that is focused on changing the behaviors of adolescents to reduce their risk of contracting HIV infection and other STDs.
- Creates social marketing
campaigns, including those focused
on HIV testing, perinatal HIV
transmission, and the reduction of
HIV transmission to partners.
- Disseminates scientifically based interventions, including
- SISTA (Sisters Informing Sisters
About Topics on AIDS), a
social-skills training intervention
in which peer facilitators help African American women at highest risk reduce their risky sexual behaviors.
- Many Men, Many Voices (3MV), an STD/HIV prevention intervention for gay men of color that addresses cultural and social norms, sexual relationship dynamics, and the social influences of racism and homophobia.
- POL (Popular Opinion Leader), which identifies, enlists, and trains key opinion leaders to encourage safer sexual norms and behaviors within their social networks. POL has been adapted for African American MSM and shown to be effective in that population.
- Healthy Relationships, a small-group intervention for men and women living with HIV/AIDS.
- WILLOW (Women Involved in Life Learning from Other Women), to be disseminated in 2007, is a small-group, skills-training intervention for women living with HIV.
WILLOW enhances awareness of the risky behaviors associated with HIV transmission, discredits myths regarding HIV prevention for people living with HIV, teaches communication skills in negotiating safer sex, and reinforces the benefits of consistent condom use. WILLOW also teaches women how to recognize healthy and unhealthy relationships, discusses the effect of abusive partners on safer sex, and provides information about local shelters for women in abusive relationships.
CDC also supports research to create new
interventions for African Americans and to
test interventions that have proven
successful with other populations for use
with African Americans. Additionally, CDC
funds agencies through ADAPT (Adopting and
Demonstrating the Adaptation of Prevention
Techniques) to adapt and evaluate effective
interventions for use in communities of
In addition, CDC
- Provides intramural training for researchers
who are members of minority races and ethnicities through a program called Research Fellowships on HIV Prevention in Communities of Color.
- Established the extramural Minority HIV/AIDS Research Initiative (MARI) in 2002 to create partnerships between CDC epidemiologists and researchers who are members of minority races and ethnicities and who work in communities of color. MARI funds epidemiologic and preventive studies of HIV in communities of color and encourages the career development of young investigators. CDC invests $2 million per year in the program and since 2003 has funded 13 junior investigators at 12 sites across the country .