African Americans face a number of challenges that contribute to higher rates of HIV infection. The greater number of people living with HIV (prevalence) in African American communities and the fact that African Americans tend to have sex with partners of the same race/ethnicity means that they face a greater risk of HIV infection with each new sexual encounter.
The poverty rate is higher among African Americans than other racial/ethnic groups. The socioeconomic issues associated with poverty – including limited access to high-quality health care, housing, and HIV prevention education – directly and indirectly increase the risk for HIV infection, and affect the health of people living with and at risk for HIV. Stigma, fear, discrimination, homophobia, and negative perceptions about HIV testing also may have a negative impact. Learn more by visiting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.