Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

HIV & AIDS Health Center

Font Size

Huge Racial Differences Remain in HIV, AIDS

Figures Suggest Little Progress in U.S. AIDS Prevention
WebMD Health News

Dec. 1, 2004 -- Minorities remain vastly more vulnerable than whites to HIV and AIDS, according to a new CDC report released Wednesday.

Blacks accounted for more than half of all new HIV and AIDS cases diagnosed in the U.S. between 2000 and 2003.

The figures, taken from surveys in 32 states, estimate that 103 out of every 100,000 black men were either newly infected with HIV or had an existing infection diagnosed during those years. The rate is the highest of any demographic group and puts black males at a seven times greater risk of the disease than whites.

Black women's overall rate of 53 cases per 100,000 was lower, but they were still 18 times more likely to have HIV than white women. Meanwhile, Hispanic men and women had rates three to five times as high as whites, the report concludes.

About 126,000 persons were diagnosed with HIV or AIDS in the 32 states included in the survey between 2000 and 2003. Overall diagnosis rates ticked up only slightly, going from 19.5 to 19.7 per 100,000 since 2000.

But vast racial differences in HIV risk have shown little change from previous years, officials say. Blacks represented 51% of new diagnoses in the survey but still account for only 13% of the population.

"This is telling all of us involved in HIV and AIDS prevention efforts that we need to focus our attention," say Ronald O. Valdiserri, MD, deputy director for HIV, STD, and tuberculosis prevention at the CDC.

Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson released a statement calling the continuing racial disparities "sobering."

Two other surveys released by the CDC Wednesday estimate that 10% to 12% of American adults were tested for HIV in 2002. About half of pregnant women were tested, though the agency recommends testing for all such women.

The agency estimates that about one-quarter of the 900,000 Americans now living with HIV do not know they are infected. Such persons are considered a major risk since they delay treatment for their infections and can unknowingly spread HIV to others.

Government agencies have pegged more widespread HIV testing as a priority to lower overall U.S. infection rates. But Wednesday's surveys show that testing rates have improved little from previous years, Valdiserri says.

In 2001, the CDC launched an initiative to cut HIV infection rate in half by 2005. Approximately 40,000 people contracted HIV last year, a figure that has barely changed since the late 1990s.

"We have a ways to go before we reach the mark of reducing the new infection rate by half in the United States," Valdiserri says.

Today on WebMD

How much do you know?
contemplative man
What to do now.
Should you be tested?
HIV under microscope
What does it mean?
HIV AIDS Screening
man opening condom wrapper
HIV AIDS Treatment
Discrimination Stigma
Treatment Side Effects
grilled chicken and vegetables
obese man standing on scale
cold sore