AIDS Deaths Decreased in 2007, though Domestic Focus on Infected African-Americans Lags

The UN announced on Tuesday that the percentage of AIDS deaths worldwide has decreased 10%. However, the prevalence of new infections has remained the same at 2.7 million cases a year. The UN report attributed the decrease to increased prevention initiatives and condom usage.

The Deputy Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund Purnima Mane emphasized the need for more financial resources, “although we have seen real progress in the last two years, if we want to continue to see results, we will need to see more financial resources and commitment,” according to the LA Times.

A report published by the Black AIDS Institute reveals the severity of the AIDS epidemic among African-Americans as well as the governmental inattention to the domestic AIDS crisis. The US requires countries receiving aid from PEPFAR to develop a national strategy to combat AIDS, yet the US itself has no strategy to address AIDS domestically.

CEO of Black AIDS Institute Phill Wilson said that more African Americans in the US are infected with AIDS than almost half of the countries served by PEPFAR and that “were Black America a separate country, it would elicit major concern and extensive assistance from the U.S. government. Instead, the national response to AIDS among Black Americans has been lethargic and often neglectful,” the Black AIDS Institute reports.


LA Times 7/30/08; Black AIDS Institute 7/30/08; UNAIDS Report 2007

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