At Radiant Health Centers, we are recognizing National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD) throughout the month, highlighting the importance of HIV testing, prevention and treatment. Black Americans are disproportionately impacted by HIV for a wide range of reasons, but through awareness and community action, progress will continue to be made.
How HIV Impacts Black Americans
The CDC estimated that in 2019, Black people accounted for 40% of people with HIV, yet only made up 13% of the total U.S. population. There are many reasons for such a disparity, including systemic inequalities, racism, economic disadvantages, housing factors and poor access to HIV testing and treatment. Therefore, if the country is going to end the HIV epidemic once and for all, the health disparities and inequities faced by Black Americans must be tackled.
Celebrating the Progress Made on NBHAAD
As a grassroots effort to provide education, reduce stigma and increase access to HIV testing and treatment, NBHAAD continues to forge ahead. And while there are significant barriers to overcome, the rapid growth in HIV infections has steadied and there is room for optimism. For example, among African American gay and bisexual men between the ages of 13 and 24, infection levels fell.
A persistent challenge highlighted by the NBHAAD is the link between social factors and health outcomes. Black people from communities facing discrimination, poor housing conditions, lower income, racism and other social inequalities are more likely to become infected with HIV – along with being affected by other health issues.
Steps like reducing STD transmission, dealing with the stigma of HIV, delivering effective treatment to vulnerable people (and so on) will be required to bridge the gap. These health disparities have been made even more clear during the COVID-19 pandemic, where communities of color were disproportionately impacted. At Radiant Health Centers we are committed to providing Black Americans with the highest level of healthcare and mental health support, while delivering much-needed HIV treatment throughout Orange County.
Delivering Rapid ART and PrEP HIV Treatments
NBHAAD is also a time to celebrate the major developments in HIV treatment. Through testing, treatment and proactive measures, it is possible for people living with HIV to maintain good health and avoid transmitting the virus to others. Unfortunately, there is still work to be done to ensure Black Americans get access to the available treatments.
Of the people who could benefit from PrEP treatment, only 8.2% of Black Americans were prescribed PrEp in 2019. With access to treatments like PrEP and Rapid ART, it will be possible to reduce HIV infection levels and improve health outcomes in Black communities.
Trusted HIV Testing and Treatment Services in Orange County
At Radiant Health Centers, we provide reliable HIV testing and rapid treatment for the LGBTQ+ community in Orange County. If you have any questions about our services or want to arrange HIV or STD testing, contact us today. Call our Irvine medical clinic at (949) 809-5700 or request an appointment now.
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