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Topics In the News
"HIV/AIDS: America's Divide" Reports on the New Face of the AIDS Epidemic
Posted by: Claude J. Summers on 03/17/12
Last updated on: 03/17/12
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A pastor discusses the disproportionate impact of HIV on African Americans.

The Discovery Channel premieres a documentary entitled HIV/AIDS: America's Divide on March 17, 2012. The documentary explores the color lines of the disease in America, finding that more than 30 years after the first case report of HIV, AIDS remains a significant problem in the United States, especially in minority communities.

There have been tremendous advances in testing for and treating HIV/AIDS, but not everyone has benefited from these advances.

Every nine and one-half minutes someone in the United States is infected with HIV, and chances are that it will be someone of color. African Americans are disproportionately affected by the disease. In fact, nearly half of all new cases of HIV are diagnosed in the African-American community.

The documentary to be broadcast on the Discovery Channel on March 17 and repeated on March 24 tells stories of triumph and tragedy in America's neighborhoods and spotlights the heroes on the front lines of the fight to prevent and treat the disease. It exposes the cultural stigmas and social disparities that widen the gap between who is living and who is dying.

Fashion designer and AmFar Chairman Kenneth Cole, who is featured in the documentary, remarks, "We know how to prevent HIV transmission. We also know that putting people on treatment greatly lowers their risk of passing on the virus. Nobody should be contracting HIV in 2012." He adds, "We must continue to work together to curb all new infections, especially among the most vulnerable, to bring this epidemic to an end."

HIV/AIDS: America's Divide reports the latest data from the Center for Disease Control. It shows not only where the problems are but also how to solve them using advanced medical technologies and evolving patient and community care.

"People in America are still dying of HIV," says Dr. John Whyte, Chief Medical Expert at Discovery Channel. "We've come full circle. Thirty years ago, those most impacted were disenfranchised members of society. Today, it's a different group, but still primarily disenfranchised. The face of AIDS has literally changed. I hope this documentary helps us to better understand why these problems persist and how we can combat them."

Dr. Robert Gallo, Director of the Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland, says of the documentary: "This program spotlights one of the most serious and overlooked of our problems. In some regions of the United States, the incidence of new AIDS infections is greater than in some countries in Africa. Today, effective HIV testing and AIDS treatment is available. Ignorance of testing and treatment is our enemy."

HIV/AIDS: America's Divide is also available for viewing online here or in the videos embedded below.

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