Working to Address HIV/AIDS in Native American Communities
November 8, 2012
Dr. Ronald Valdiserri, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health, Infectious Diseases, and Director, Office of HIV/AIDS and the Infectious Disease Policy, US Department of Health and Human Services, reports on the statement by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, on the observance of National Native American Heritage Month. Sebelius had reiterated the department's commitment to ensuring the health and well-being of all Americans and provided examples of the department's work to reduce health disparities among American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/AN).
The secretary's statement presented statistics on HIV and AIDS diagnoses among AI/AN people. Less than 1 percent of the total cases in the country are among AI/AN, but based on population size, the rates are higher than those of whites. The most recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report of HIV surveillance shows the estimated rate of annual diagnoses of HIV infection from 2007-2010 was stable nationally, but the rate among AI/AN increased. In 2010, the rate of HIV diagnoses among AI/AN was 9.7 per 100,000 persons, which is higher than that of whites and Asian and Pacific Islanders. Moreover, the rate of annual AIDS diagnoses decreased nationally during 2007-2010, but the rate among AI/AN increased. In 2010, the rate of AIDS diagnoses was 7.2 per 100,000 persons among AI/AN people.
The secretary recognized federal and community partners working to address these HIV/AIDS trends in the AI/AN community and listed some of the work that was being done. Dr. Valdiserri joined with the secretary and partners in native communities to celebrate National Native American Heritage Month and strengthen the commitment to ensure AI/AN people a healthier future without HIV/AIDS and other preventable diseases.
11.07.2012; Ronald Valdiserri
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
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