12/20/2011 02:05 pm ET | Updated Dec 20, 2011

Black Health Year In Review: The Biggest Breakthroughs Of 2011

For all the somber news that unfolded in the black health sphere this year -- from jazz poet Gil Scott-Heron's HIV-related death in May to comedian Patrice O'Neal succumbing to a battle with diabetes last month -- there have been some positive strides made to keep African-Americans in good health as well.

With more money pledged to treat those living with HIV to more stringent rules in the works for keeping babies safe inside their cribs, 2012 promises to be a good year to close the gap on some of the health disparities that have plagued the African-American community for years.

Here's a look at 2011's biggest breakthroughs on the health and wellness front.