On National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, Hands-On Solutions to End the Epidemic
Yesterday was the 11th annual National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day and AIDS United is celebrating by rolling out technology based programs in predominantly black communities across the country in an effort to end the epidemic all together.
Aids United announced:
Thousands of individuals living with HIV/AIDS in low-income and/or rural areas will now receive local, high quality care, thanks to new grants awarded by AIDS United for its Access to Care (A2C) initiative and the Social Innovation Fund (SIF), to help fund the development of 10 innovative community-based programs to improve the lives of people living with HIV/AIDS..
Since nearly 30 percent of people living with HIV/AIDS do not have health insurance, community-based resources are some of the best solutions in closing the gap of health care disparities. The Social Innovation Fund specifically focuses on improving the lives of people in low-income U.S. communities and invests in community-based programs that get results. Every federal dollar invested with Social Innovation Fund is matched with private funds.
Some of the many interesting programs to be rolled out in black communities include:
- Rural mobile health clinics that reach HIV-positive people living in the southern region of the United States
- Telemedicine resources for people who have limited/or no transportation, low health literacy and a shortage of nearby HIV medical providers.
- Cell phone initiatives for HIV-positive people who are incarcerated.
AIDS outreach programs benefitting from the grants today are located across the country form Montgomery, Alabama, to St. Louis to Chicago to Boston to Los Angeles, among others.
What many don't know is, according to the Center for Disease Control:
Of the 162,570 diagnoses of HIV infection from 2005-2008, blacks/African Americans accounted for 49% of total, 64% of women and in 2008, 50% of diagnoses of HIV infection were among black/African American adults and adolescents. As well, Blacks make up 12% of the US population but in 2006, African Americans accounted for 46% of those living with HIV.
National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is a good reminder that this is not just a global health problem. As well, it's a good reminder of the very focused community based efforts being fought daily by HIV/AIDS workers in the US to try to solve the epidemic.
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