Aids In The African American Community
AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) is a condition thought to be caused by a virus in which the body?s white cells lose their ability to protect against infections. AIDS was first reported in the United States in 1981 and has since become a major worldwide epidemic. AIDS is caused by the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). HIV progressively destroys the bodys ability to fight infections and certain cancers by killing or impairing cells of the immune system. Individuals diagnosed with AIDS are susceptible to life-threatening diseases called opportunistic infections, which are caused by microbes that usually do not cause illness in healthy people.
More than 600,000 cases of AIDS have been reported in the United States since 1981, and as many as 900,000 Americans may be infected with HIV. The epidemic is growing most rapidly among minority populations and is a leading killer of African-Americans. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) AIDS is six times higher in African-Americans than among whites. African-Americans make up 12% of the United States population, yet 47% of all AIDS cases are African-Americans. This is obviously a disproportional relationship. The CDC also says that whites make up 71% of America?s population; however, only
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