AIDS Epidemic For African-American Women In Massachusetts

AIDS from HIV is the leading cause of death for black women in Massachusetts, the state's Department of Public Health announced this week.

Women account for more than 1 in 4 of all new HIV/AIDS cases in the state, a local Boston news channel and BET reports. Over half of those women are African-American.

Black women are thirty-eight times more likely than white women to contract the disease.

"It's certainly an epidemic," Dr. Bela Bashar, clinical director of HIV services at The Dimock Center told the Boston news station. "Really a lot of women, African-American women, don't really know what their partners are doing or their partners are keeping certain aspects of their life shielded from their female partners."

A woman can be doing everything right, but unfortunately she never knows what her partner is potentially doing.

HIV is now the number one cause of infection among black women. The Health Department reports that 60 percent are infected by their partners, boyfriends or husbands, who sometimes don't know they are infected because they remain asymptomatic.

In white women, the leading cause of infection is injection drug use.

To help increase HIV/AIDS awareness, The Dimock Center offers medical care, education, and testing, free of charge, to the Roxbury, Mass. community they serve.

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