Minority AIDS Initiative Is Launched

By 1999, African-Americans made up only 13 percent of the U.S. population but accounted for 43 percent of all new AIDS cases. Similarly, Latinos represented 14 percent of the U.S. population and 22 percent of new AIDS cases.

Chart of HIV/AIDS in Minorities
HIV/AIDS in African-Americans and Latinos
Minority Group Proportion of U.S. Population Proportion of U.S. Estimated New HIV/AIDS Cases
African-Americans 13% 43%
Latinos 14% 22%

The alarming upward trend of AIDS incidence in the minority community led David Satcher, U.S. Surgeon General under President Clinton, to declare “a public health emergency,” noting that “the complexion of the epidemic has changed.”

To confront the health disparities that were contributing to higher rates of HIV/AIDS in minority communities, the Congressional Black Caucus began the Minority AIDS Initiative in fiscal year 1999. Congress responded by allocating $156 million to fund Minority AIDS Initiative efforts.

Since its inception, the Minority AIDS Initiative has realized positive outcomes, including improvement in the availability of services and access to care for minorities and an increase in the involvement of minorities in the planning process.