Health Disparity was our Word Wednesday this week. When a group of people is more impacted by illness than another, it is called a health disparity. This can look differently depending on the specific illness. The number of people affected, the quality of life impact, and the access to treatment are all factors to consider when describing how one group is more affected than other by the same disease. National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is February 7th, and we want to recognize that a health disparity exists for Black Americans in regards to HIV. In 2016 and 2017, Black Americans were 13 % of the total population. However, they were 42% of people living with HIV, and 44% of new HIV diagnoses. In particular, Black men who have sex with other men account for the highest rate of new HIV cases in 2017. However, Black women having sex with men are the highest rate of transmission through heterosexual contact. Targeted programs to reach groups with the largest health disparities are working to reduce and eliminate this disparity along with working to treat and eliminate HIV/AIDS across the population.
If you are someone looking to connect with other Black advocates and learn about the people creating programs, the Black AIDS Institute is honoring some important people this month (https://blackaids.org/).