HIV and the Church

                  Since the beginning of the HIV epidemic, Black Americans have been disproportionality affected by HIV/AIDS— a disparity that has only deepened over time. According to the CDC, while Black Americans make up only 12% of the U.S. population, they account for more HIV diagnoses (44%) and HIV-related deaths (44%) than any other racial/ethnic group in the U.S. These staggering statistics are suspected be a result of challenges frequently faced by the Black community such as “poverty, lack of access to health care, higher rates of some sexually transmitted infections, lack of awareness of HIV status, and stigma.”

                  Across the spectrum of access to care for Black Americans, more disparities emerge. An astounding 75% of Blacks aged 18-64 have been tested for HIV—more than any other racial/ethnic group in the U.S. However, this numbers fall drastically when it comes to treatment. A mere 54% of those living with HIV remain in regular care status and less than half are virally suppressed.

                  Additionally, the impact of the epidemic is not uniformly distributed across the US. Over half of all Black Americans living with HIV live in the South, and the South accounted for 63% of newly diagnosed Black Americans in 2015.

                   This data highlights the fact that more needs to be done to reach Black Americans with prevention, testing, and support – roles ripe for more engagement from local churches. If your church would like to learn more about starting a HIV support group, assisting with HIV prevention or testing, or starting a HIV ministry, email us at or call 949-609-8555.


Source:  Black Americans and HIV/AIDS: The Basics. Kaiser Family Foundation 2017.

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