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The Legacy Project works nationally to increase awareness of and build support for HIV prevention and treatment clinical and behavioral research by addressing factors that influence participation of historically underrepresented communities.  The Legacy Project achieves its core mission through ongoing and strategic engagement, collaboration, education, and scientific investigation. 

​With a team of diverse, skilled and devoted staff, the Legacy Project works to cultivate and enhance partnerships and relationships among the National Institutes of Health (NIH) HIV/AIDS Clinical Trials Networks and research sites, research and academic  institutions, governmental agencies, community-based organizations and affiliates, while ensuring a commitment to capacity building for communities and populations most impacted by the HIV epidemic in the United States.


Strategic Plan

Legacy Project Resources

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The Legacy Project works to increase representation and engagement of minorities and marginalized communities in HIV clinical research across the U.S. These communities include, but are not limited to: 

Men Who Have Sex With Men

  • Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men made up an estimated 2% of the U.S. population, but accounted for 67% of the total estimated new HIV diagnoses in 2014.
  • Gay and bisexual men accounted for an estimated 54% of people diagnosed with AIDS in 2014.
  • If current diagnosis rates continue, 1 in 6 gay and bisexual men will be diagnosed with HIV in their lifetime, including 1 in 2 African American/Black gay and bisexual men, 1 in 4 Hispanic/Latino gay and bisexual men, and 1 in 11 white gay and bisexual men.

Source: direct quotes from CDC website - CDC-MSM & HIV​


Transgender Communities

  • In the United States, it is estimated that almost 1 million adults identify as transgender.
  • From 2009 to 2014, of the 2,351 transgender people were diagnosed with HIV, 84% were transgender women, 15% were transgender men, and less than 1% reported another gender identity.
  • Around half of transgender people (43% of transgender women; 54% of transgender men) who received an HIV diagnosis from 2009 to 2014 lived in Southern States.

Source: direct quotes from CDC website - CDC-Transgender People & HIV​


Around a quarter of people living with HIV in the United States are women.

  • Among all women with HIV diagnosed in 2015, 61% were African American, 19% were white, and 15% were Hispanic/Latina.
  • Of women living with HIV, around 11% do not know they are infected.
  • While PrEP uptake is low across all women in the U.S., the rate of PrEP initiation among African American and Hispanic women is significantly less than that of white women.

Source: direct quotes from CDC website - CDC-Women & HIV​

African-American/Black Communities

African Americans/Blacks account for a higher proportion of new HIV diagnoses, those living with HIV, and those ever diagnosed with AIDS, compared to other races/ethnicities.

In 2015:

  • African Americans accounted for 45% of HIV diagnoses, though they comprise 12% of the US population.
  • 58% of African Americans diagnosed with HIV were gay or bisexual men. Among African American gay and bisexual men diagnosed with HIV, 38% were young men aged 13 to 24.
  • Of the total number of women diagnosed with HIV, 61% were African American.

Source: direct quotes from CDC website - CDC-Afro-Americans & HIV​


Hispanic/Latinx Communities

Latinos represent approximately 17% of the total U.S. population, but accounted for 24% of all new HIV infections in 2014.

  • Of those, 86% were in men, and 14% were in women.
  • Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men accounted for 84% of the estimated HIV diagnoses among Hispanic/Latino men in 2014.
  • Among Hispanic women/Latinas, 86% of the estimated HIV diagnoses were attributed to heterosexual contact.

Source: direct quotes from CDC website - CDC-Hispanics & HIV​


American Indian/Alaska Native Communities

  • From 2005 to 2014, the annual number of HIV diagnoses increased 19% among AIs/ANs overall and 63% among AI/AN gay and bisexual men.
  • In 2015, 96 AIs/ANs were diagnosed with AIDS. Of them, 59% (57) were men and 41% (39) were women.
  • AI/ANs have a shorter life expectancy after AIDS diagnosis than other racial/ethnic groups.
​​​Source: direct quotes from CDC website - CDC-AI/AN & HIV​


Asian Communities

Between 2010 and 2014, the Asian population in the United States grew around 11%, more than three times as fast as the total U.S. population. During the same period, the number of Asians receiving an HIV diagnosis increased by 36%

  • Asians accounted for 2% of the 40,040 new HIV diagnoses in the United States and 6 dependent areas in 2015.
  • Of Asians diagnosed with HIV infection in 2015, 86% (820) were men and 14% (132) were women.
  • From 2010 to 2014, HIV diagnoses increased by 47% among Asian gay and bisexual men in the United States.
Source: direct quotes from CDC website - CDC-Asians & HIV​



Legacy Project Vision & Mission

The Legacy Project envisions accurately informed communities actively engaged in clinical research with culturally sensitive research environments and processes.

The Legacy Project’s mission is to build trust and collaboration between historically underrepresented communities most impacted by the domestic HIV epidemic, researchers, and research institutions; enhance cultural competence; and initiate scientific investigation to increase clinical research participation.​


The Legacy Project’s activities will be guided by a Legacy Project Working Group and managed by Legacy Project leadership. An external group of advisors will provide periodic review of the scientific direction and review of Legacy Project activities and focus.

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Learn about Legacy Project collaborators.

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HIV and race in America is a complex issue—one that you as an informed member of the community may deal with everyday.

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