By Julian Pecquet - 02/07/12 03:09 PM EST
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) marked National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day on Tuesday with a pledge to work with community leaders to end the epidemic.
Black Americans are disproportionately affected by the disease, accounting for almost half of all cases despite making up just 14 percent of the total population. According to the CDC, one in 16 black men, and one in 32 women, will be diagnosed with HIV in his or her lifetime.
The CDC says "homophobia and stigma" play a part in the epidemic, along with other "complex social and environmental conditions including lack of access to healthcare."
"At CDC, HIV prevention in black communities remains one of our top priorities," Kevin Fenton, director of the National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention, said in a statement. "Last year, we invested more than half of our HIV prevention budget to fight HIV among African-Americans."