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HIV and African Americans & Hispanics & Women
  African-American, Hispanic Men Who Have Sex With Men Spreading HIV To Minority Heterosexual Women, Study Shows
Although HIV-positive African-American and Hispanic men are more likely than their white counterparts to have sex with both men and women, African-American and Hispanic women are less likely than white women to know that their partners have sex with both men and women, according to results from a study that is scheduled to be published later this year, the Detroit News reports. The study, conducted by the Michigan Department of Community Health and the CDC, used data from state health departments in Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, New Jersey, New Mexico, South Carolina and Washington, as well as data from the Los Angeles County Health Department. According to the study, 34% of HIV-positive African-American men said that they had engaged in sex with both women and men, compared with 26% of HIV-positive Hispanic men and 13% of HIV-positive white men. However, among HIV-positive women, 14% of white women said that they knew their partners had also had sex with men, compared with 6% of African-American and Hispanic women. The disparity in awareness is partly responsible for the rapid spread of HIV in minority communities, according to the AIDS CARE study. In 2001, 12% of the U.S. population was African American, but African Americans represented 50% of the new HIV cases reported in that year, according to the News. In addition, HIV/AIDS is the leading cause of death for African-American women ages 25 to 34, and the disease is among the top three leading causes of death for African-American women ages 35 to 44 and black men ages 25 to 54, according to the News.
The study "confirms what people have been saying and what they knew anecdotally," Loretta Davis Satterla, director of the division of HIV/AIDS-STDs at the Michigan Department of Community Health, said. "This is not a myth," Eve Mokotoff, chief of HIV/AIDS epidemiology at the Michigan Department of Community Health and lead author of the study, said, adding, "We interviewed these men and this is very real. What underlies this problem is our unacceptance of homosexuality." Rosalind Andrews-Worthy, executive director of Detroit-based Gospel Against AIDS, agreed, saying, "The stigma we have put on homosexuality is causing people to make the decisions they are making. It's devastating African-American men. These men are living a suppressed life." Andrews-Worthy added, "We have to start embracing everyone. Until we do, we will have men who have sex with men and go back to women." Phill Wilson, executive director of the Black AIDS Institute, said that in order to combat the problem, black women must stop "knowingly sharing" men, educate themselves about how to prevent HIV infection and build their self-esteem, according to the News (Hayes Taylor, Detroit News, 6/27). Source: Kaiser HIV/AIDS reports
Philadelphia Inquirer Examines Increase in Number of HIV/AIDS Cases Among Women
The Philadelphia Inquirer yesterday examined the nationwide increase in the number of HIV/AIDS cases among women, noting that black and Hispanic women have been particularly hard hit by the disease. Many of the women do not engage in traditional high-risk behaviors, such as having multiple sex partners and injecting drugs, but instead contract HIV through heterosexual sex without a condom and often with men who also have sex with men. In 2001, about 30% of Philadelphia's new HIV/AIDS cases were among women, compared with 12% in 1990. The trend, which is occuring nationwide, presents a challenge to public health workers, who are trying to develop outreach and education strategies to reach women. However, women without obvious risk factors for HIV/AIDS tend to delay testing and are difficult to reach because they do not have well-defined hangouts and habits, according to the Inquirer. Prevention workers in the city plan to begin a federal pilot project later this year in which they will go into neighborhoods to talk to people about the disease. "We'll probably hang out on certain street corners and ask people to sit down for an interview in the neighborhood pizza parlor or doughnut shop," Kathleen Brady, an HIV epidemiologist for the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, said. "We reimburse them for their time. We're trying to reach high-risk heterosexuals to define who they are and where to find them," Brady added (McCullough, Philadelphia Inquirer, 6/30). Source: Kaiser HIV/AIDS Report
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