The Epidemiology, Prevention, and Control of HIV/AIDS Among African Americans

  • Victoria Cargill
  • Kevin A. Fenton


Twenty-six years after five cases of Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia were reported in white gay men, the USA faces a mature AIDS epidemic. 1 An infectious disorder with profound morbidity and mortality, this epidemic rivals virtually every other infectious disease outbreak in human history – from its impact upon communities, social structures, and health care systems to the disruption of the fabric of daily life. While many gains have been made in the HIV/AIDS epidemic, from testing modalities to the diagnosis, care, and management of the HIV infection and its complications, these gains have not been realized uniformly. Disparities exist across race, gender, and socioeconomic status, and these disparities not only continue to drive the epidemic, but also the profound economic and human costs associated with it.

With the introduction of newer therapies, specifically protease inhibitors in 1995, and other classes of drugs, there has been a significant improvement in the quality of life and quantity of life. As a result, simply counting the number of AIDS cases in a region or municipality would not provide sufficient information about the trajectory of the epidemic, given the lag between HIV infection and progression to AIDS (as long as 10 years or more). Tracking the number of cases of HIV infection provides a more complete picture of the epidemic, yielding additional data about HIV-infected populations at all stages of HIV disease. Such data not only enhance local, state, and regional efforts to prevent HIV transmission, but also facilitate allocation of important resources for treatment services, and further assessment of the impact of a number of public health interventions.2


Black Woman Social Determinant Multiple Sexual Partner African American Community Unstable Housing 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Office of AIDS ResearchNational Institutes of HealthBethesdaUSA

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