We all know that there are disparities between communities, and HIV is no different. Our communities experience the highest HIV rates among all races and if you aren’t careful you could become apart of that statistic. As I say often, knowledge is power so make sure you’re getting tested regularly, simply because many of the black women infected with the disease, (7.2% of them to be exact) don’t even know they are infected (find out how often you should get tested here and where to get tested here). When it comes to black women, though we have some of the most devastating statistics, and so today I thought I would share a couple of these statistics so that we may get more serious about our current situation.
You are almost 4x more likely to contract HIV
That’s right, simply by being a black women you are 4x more likely to contract HIV. The crazy part is, you’re not only 4x more likely to contract HIV than other women, but also 2x times more likely to contract the virus than heterosexual black males. This says a lot about our community, and there are many different aspects that play a role in this. One of the biggest factors within our community is that many black women tend to date specifically within our race, and while that’s not a problem in and of itself (some of us would say it’s a beautiful thing) our males are much more likely to give us the virus than other males (especially if they are bisexual).
59% of Women living with HIV diagnosis are Black women
This statistic made my jaw drop when I read it and it really made me rethink some of the decisions I make in my life. We can literally say that most of the women with HIV are black and that isn’t a statistic I’m proud of. One of the biggest factors affecting this is our socioeconomic status. Many of our sisters are living everyday in poverty, and so going to get a check up and get appropriate testing is not on their mind because they are wondering how they will eat! While there are many places available where you can go to get tested, in today’s world you can even get tested right from the privacy of your own home (find our more about home testing kits here)
The Good News
From 2010 – 2016 the rate of HIV diagnosis in black women decreased 25%, which is an amazing feat. The work isn’t done however, and we need to continue to educate our community and work together to make sure we are working to decrease those statistics even further. Community services and help are increasingly popping up all over the place and I’m here for it. I hope that Black women and women of all colors continue to do the work that needs to be done
It’s very upsetting to know that just being born a certain skin color can increase your likelihood for something so serious as HIV. I hope that this stats also make you want to go get tested and protect yourself in your future sexual encounters.if you need it, You can get more information on HIV/AIDS from the U.S. National Library of Medicine here at their MedlinePlus website.
As always I want you to live your best life sis, but protect your life at the same time!