July 15th, 2010
02:16 AM ET

Activists: Stigma fuels HIV/AIDS rates in African-American community

Washington (CNN) - As President Obama announced the first national HIV/AIDS strategy earlier this week, outside the gates of the White House, 3 percent of the District of Columbia's population continues to live with the disease.

HIV/AIDS rates in the district are "on par with Uganda and some parts of Kenya" where the disease has raged for years, says Shannon Hader, Washington's former HIV/AIDS administration director.

Three percent of Washingtonians live with HIV/AIDS, according to a study released by the district in 2009. The accepted threshold for a "generalized and severe epidemic," according to the study, is 1 percent.

Flanked by national health care administrators and community activists, Obama said his national strategy is to increase prevention and improve treatment while reducing disparities among groups hardest-hit by the disease.

In Washington, that's the African-American community, according to activists. FULL POST


Topics: President Obama • The Vault • White House