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Today Is National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day


March 20 marks the 9th annual observation of National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NNHAAD), an occasion to highlight the impact of HIV and AIDS on American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian communities.


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders account for only a small proportion of all HIV infections in the U.S. (<1% of new diagnoses in 2010). A majority of Native Americans newly diagnosed with HIV are men who have sex with men.

However, while approximately 14% of all people with HIV in the U.S. do not know they are infected, the proportion is closer to 25% for Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders, and 19% for American Indians and Alaska Natives. Native Hawaiians, American Indians, and Alaska Natives have the highest proportions of people diagnosed with AIDS within 12 months after receiving an HIV diagnosis, suggesting that they are being diagnosed late in the course of infection after extensive immune damage has already occurred. This highlights the need for more outreach and education about HIV prevention, testing, and treatment for these communities.



CDC. HIV/AIDS Among American Indians and Alaska Natives. Fact sheet. Updated March 13, 2015.