This week, the United States is hosting the 19th International AIDS Conference. As we welcome 22,000 leaders, advocates and experts from around the world with the goal of ending HIV/AIDS, I thought it was important not to forget those living with HIV/AIDS here in our home town. Among the 1.1 million people living with HIV/AIDS in the United States, African Americans make up almost half of all cases, despite representing only 14% of the U.S. population. Women comprise 23% of new HIV infections in this country, and African American women make up nearly two-thirds of these cases. Here in D.C., we have one of the highest HIV rates in the country, with 2.7% of all D.C. residents living with HIV/AIDS, and women comprise 28% of the cases. Of the 4,000 women living with HIV in D.C., 92% are African American. Compared with men in D.C., women living with HIV are still more likely to be tested later in the course of their disease, and are less likely to be linked to care.
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