“From left to right: Toya Tolson, Shawnte’ Spriggs, Sophia Harrison, Marcella Wright and Deborah Dyson. These women are aging with HIV, sometimes with other diseases and always with other challenges. Aamir Khuller, CC BY-NC-SA”
by Thurka Sangaramoorthy
“The face of HIV in the United States has long been white gay men, even though the epidemic has had a devastating and disproportionate impact on African-American communities.
“This is especially true among women; 60 percent of newly diagnosed cases of HIV in women in 2017 were African-American. Yet, African-American women’s voices are notoriously absent from the national discourse on HIV.
“Largely invisible to a fractured health care system, these women are often breadwinners and matriarchs whose families count on them for support and care.
“Treatments to help people who are HIV-positive manage their illness and survive into older age have improved greatly, yet the unique health needs of African-American women living and aging with HIV – estimated at about 140,000 – are often ignored.”
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