Twenty-five years after the first reported case, the face of HIV/AIDS has changed. It was once thought of as a White, gay, male disease, but the current face of the illness in this country is that of a person of color, generally Black. If men were the initial victims, it has now befallen women, especially Black women, who represent the fastest- growing group affected. "Our deaths are falling on deaf ears throughout our community and our government," says Debra Fraser-Howze, president and CEO of the National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS. "The more this epidemic becomes Black and brown, the more you see people back away. But our failure to act is killing us." These statistics, however, are enough to get anyone talking.
Percentage of the U.S. population that is African-American.
Percentage of people newly diagnosed with HIV/AIDS who are African-American.
Average number of years a person in the United States will live with HIV before it becomes full-blown AIDS.
Average number of years a person will live after acquiring AIDS.
The number of antiretroviral pills (ARVs) that make up the prescription cocktail most HIV-positive patients take at the same time. (The number of times per day the medication is taken varies according to the individual.)
Number of different FDA-approved prescription drugs currently on the market and prescribed for patients with HIV/AIDS.
Amount of new cases of HIV that are detected each year in the United States. That number has remained constant for more than a decade, but is down from a high of 150,000 cases per year in the eighties.
Billion dollars committed to date by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to fund programs providing AIDS services and research around the world over the next several years.
Percentage of women living with HIV or AIDS in the United States that are African-American. Among other groups:
19% are Caucasian
15% are Hispanic
1% are Asian and
less than 1% are Native Americans.
Number of minutes it takes to get a result from a rapid HIV-antibody test. There are several tests available, including the OraQuick (which takes a blood sample) and the OraSure Advance (which uses a mouth swab). Currently both tests must be given by a trained professional, but the manufacturer anticipates having a home test kit available in the near future.
Number of microbiocides currently being evaluated for their effectiveness in combatting HIV. Microbicides are specially formulated creams and gels that fight HIV when applied to the vagina or rectum. Researchers hope to have results by 2008.
The likelihood that HIV/AIDS is the cause of death if an African-American woman age 25 to 34 passes away. Black women in this age group are more likely to die from HIV/AIDS than from homicide, heart disease or cancer. HIV/AIDS is the
- #3 cause of death among African-American women age 35 to 44.
- #4 cause of death among Black women 45 to 54 years old.
Number of people it takes to make a difference in the fight against HIV/AIDS. You.