New Sense of Urgency Needed to Tackle U.S. HIV Epidemic
- The share of Americans naming HIV/AIDS as the most urgent health problem facing the nation dropped precipitously from 44% in 1995 to 17% in 2006 and to 6% now.
- CDC estimates that HIV rates are seven times higher among African Americans and three times higher among Latinos compared to whites. While these groups are more likely than whites to see HIV/AIDS as an urgent problem, fewer say it is a "more urgent" problem for their community now than in 2006 (declining from 23% to 17% of all adults, 49% to 40% of African Americans and 46% to 35% of Latinos).
- The share of those ages 18-29 who say they are personally very concerned about becoming infected with HIV declined from 30% in 1997 to 17% today; personal concern among young African Americans declined from 54% to 40% over the same time period.
- More than half (53%) of non-elderly adults say they have been tested for HIV, including 19% who say they were tested in the past year. Testing is most common among adults under the age of 30, with three in ten young adults and nearly half (47%) of young African Americans reporting having been tested in the past year. However, reported testing rates for all these groups have not changed much in the past decade.
Some Signs of Progress, But Misconceptions and Stigma Remain