The situation is even more dire among African-Americans in the 25-44 yo age group. Since 1991, AIDS-related illnesses has been the leading cause of death among African-American men in the 25-44 yo age group (see Figure 2). It surpassed homicide as the top cause of death and remained so even in 1998. During the peak of the epidemic in 1995, AIDS-related illnesses caused almost 9,000 deaths (32% of all deaths in this group) and about 3,000 deaths (16% of the total) in 1998.