HIV Prevention Strategies Targeted Toward Blacks Should Be Restructured

Armen Hareyan's picture

"HIV/AIDS is a crisis amongAfrican-Americans," with blacks making up about 49% of theestimated 37,331 new cases of HIV/AIDS diagnosed in 2005, JacquelineFleming Hampton, director of community outreach at the NIHCenter for AIDS Health Disparities Research at Meharry MedicalCollege, writes in a Tennesseanopinion piece. According to Fleming Hampton, the HIV infection rateamong black men is seven times higher than it is for white men andtwo times as high as it is for Hispanic men. Black women represent66% of all new HIV cases among women over age 13, Fleming Hamptonadds.

HIV prevention is a "primary and cost-effectiveway to save lives," Fleming Hampton writes. According to FlemingHampton, it costs $20,000 annually to treat one HIV-positive person,compared with $10 to administer an HIV test.

Fleming Hamptonwrites, "Traditional approaches to HIV prevention targetingAfrican-Americans must be restructured to take into account thechallenging and complex environments in which many African-Americanslive, work, play and worship. These approaches must address high-riskbehaviors that can be modified, such as poverty, joblessness,depression, anxiety, stigma, violence, crack/cocaine use and therevolving door of incarceration" (Fleming Hampton, Tennessean,1/4).

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