Tuesday, August 15, 2006

NAACP chief: HIV/AIDS is now a black disease

Beth Duff-Brown:

It is time for the African-American community to face the fact that AIDS has become a black disease and find ways to defeat it, the chairman of the NAACP said Monday at the international AIDS summit.

Julian Bond, the Rev. Jesse Jackson and other powerful African-American leaders called on their community to accept responsibility for ending the devastation of AIDS, which has claimed more than 200,000 black Americans since the epidemic began 25 years ago.

In a first for the political leaders, they blamed the disaster on a lack of will and pledged to do more.

The story of AIDS in America is mostly one of a failure to lead and nowhere is this truer than in our black communities, said Bond, chairman of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. We have led successful responses to many other challenges in the past. Now is the time for us to face the fact that AIDS has become a black disease.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, African Americans account for half of all new cases of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

It is the leading cause of death for black women between the ages of 25 to 34. Overall, blacks are seven times more likely to die from AIDS than other at-risk groups.

Black America Must Confront AIDS


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