Recent months have brought startling reminders about the HIV crisis in the United States.
When health officials in Washington, DC reported that three percent of city residents are living with HIV, including nearly seven percent of the city’s black men, the media and much of the nation reacted with surprise. Yet, the reality is that DC is not the only American city that faces a severe HIV epidemic. Many urban areas-from major cities like San Francisco and New York to smaller communities like Columbia, South Carolina and Jackson, Mississippi, are heavily impacted by HIV and AIDS.
At a national level, the latest estimates suggest that roughly 56,000 Americans are becoming infected each year. That means that every 9 ½ minutes, another American becomes infected with HIV.
This week, the Obama Administration launched a new campaign to combat what we believe is a severe threat to the health of the nation. That threat is complacency about HIV – a false sense of security and calm that hides what remains a health crisis.