7 Facts You Need to Know on National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

In honor of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day on February 7, 2015, we put together a list of seven surprising (and humbling) statistics and facts about the impact of HIV and AIDS on Black Americans, especially in Harlem.

1. The rate of HIV infection in Harlem is 4-5 times higher than the national average

Central Harlem and East Harlem have the second and third highest infection rates in New York City. The age-adjusted death rate for people living with HIV is nearly 50% higher in Harlem than for the Manhattan borough as a whole.

2. Harlem has one of the highest rates of new HIV diagnoses among men who have sex with men (MSM) in New York City

1,719 MSM were diagnosed with HIV in NYC in 2012 – that’s 69% of all new male diagnoses in the city. In New York City, black MSM are 6.5 times more likely to test positive than their white counterparts.

3. Half of the 1.1 million people living with HIV/AIDS in the United States are black

In 2010, African Americans accounted for 44% of all new HIV infections, despite representing only 12% of the US population. Black women make up 64% of women infected with HIV and are 20 times more likely that their white counterparts to be infected.

4. 90% of transgender women newly diagnosed with HIV in New York City were blacks/African Americans or Latinos.

Ninety-nine percent of new HIV diagnoses in New York City from 2007-2011 were among transgender women. 51% of these women had documented substance use, homelessness, and/or commercial sex work.

5. The burden of the HIV epidemic in the United States is shared by African-Americans and Hispanics.

Hispanics/Latinos account for one-fifth of all new HIV infections in the United States
In 2010, the rate of new HIV infections among Hispanics/Latinos was 3 times higher than that of whites. Sixty-seven percent of these infections occurred in MSM. Women make up 14% of the new HIV infections among Hispanics/Latinos.

6. Women 13-years and older account for 21% of new HIV infections in the United States

It is estimated that 64% of new HIV infections are in African Americans, 18% in whites, and 15% in Hispanic/Latina women. 1 in 32 African American women will be diagnosed with an HIV infection in their lifetimes.

7. Harlem United was founded in 1988 as the Upper Room AIDS Ministry

Harlem United was founded as a response to the AIDS crisis among communities of color in Upper Manhattan and the South Bronx. In 27 years, we have expanded to provide critical health, housing and human service to people with multiple needs.

The front of a black tote bag with an orange Harlem United logo next to the back of the tote bag, which reads "There's some magical s#*! going on in here. - Jade, long-time client and peer." Underneath the tote bag images, is text that reads "Donate $25 and claim your limited-edition Harlem United tote bag!"