HIV/AIDS Day: Obama Admin. Calls Attention to Black Cases
Senior advisor reminds community that HIV/AIDS touches people, families from all walks of life.
Jarrett shared her personal story on the White House’s blog, in a post commemorating the 12th annual day of awareness for the African American community.
“Tragically, (her sister-in-law) did not win (the) fight – she left behind a devastated husband and five-year-old daughter,” Jarrett wrote.
“But it is in her memory, and the memory of all the friends and loved ones we have lost, that we vow to keep working toward the day when HIV/AIDS is history.”
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In providing an example of how HIV/AIDS touches even high-ranking officials at the White House, Jarrett and the Obama administration wants to remind the Black community of the startling statistics that prove, as President Obama has said, “the fight is not over … not by a long shot.”
The latest data, kept by Centers for Disease Control, shows African Americans account for 44 percent of new HIV infections, even as blacks represent only 12 percent of the U.S. population. More staggering is the 50 percent increase in the infection rates among young black gay men over three years. Black women account for the largest share of HIV infections among all positive women.AL
The White House, Jarrett wrote, is not sitting on its hands in addressing the specific needs of the African American community. In a World AIDS Day address last December, President Obama highlighted the key efforts at the federal level.
- Over two years, the administration committed to providing anti-retroviral drugs to 1.5 HIV-positive pregnant women, increasing the chance they’d give birth to HIV-negative babies.
- By the end of 2013, the administration plans to help 6 million people get treatment as part of a prevention strategy.
[For a more detailed National HIV/AIDS Strategy progress report (PDF), click here.]
View video of the president’s World AIDS Day speech below: