Racial disparity likely behind U.S. poor results in global AIDS fight

07/17/2014 11:29 AM

07/17/2014 11:29 AM

It should be easy more than 30 years after the world became intimately and frightfully aware of HIV/AIDS and treatments were developed that people would see continuing declines in cases of the disease.

But the U.S., which has the best health care system on the planet, lags behind other developed countries in the global battle against HIV and AIDS, a new United Nations study reports. It cites a decline in awareness and inadequate treatment as reasons.

Not surprisingly, the U.N. study notes that African Americans are more likely than other ethnic racial groups in the U.S. to be infected with HIV and 10 times more likely as whites to die from AIDS, McClatchy News Service reports.

Blame it on the health care disparity tied to race in the United States. African Americans constitute 13 percent of the U.S. population but last year accounted for 46 percent of people living with HIV in America and half of fatal AIDS-related cases.

UNAIDS, the group that monitors HIV and AIDS worldwide, said in 2013, the U.S. accounted for 54 percent of the 88,000 new HIV infections in Western and Central Europe and North America and 69 percent of the 27,000 AIDS-related deaths in those areas.

That’s shameful. The U.S. has to do more to prevent people from getting HIV/AIDS and diagnose HIV cases sooner and provide aggressive and sustained treatment for all persons regardless of race who have the disease.

It’s the only way HIV/AIDS will be contained.

Videos

Join the Discussion

The Kansas City Star is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Terms of Service