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CDC Observes National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

March 20, 2013

Today, March 20th, marks National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NNHAAD), a day to recognize the impact of HIV/AIDS on Native communities. HIV is a serious public health issue among American Indians/Alaska Natives. American Indians/Alaska Natives face challenges that increase risk for HIV infection including poverty, stigma associated with gay relationships and HIV, mental health, alcohol and drug abuse, and sexually transmitted diseases -- all of which increase the risk of HIV in Native communities and create obstacles to HIV prevention and treatment.

While approximately 20% of HIV-infected Americans do not know they are infected, this figure is 25% among American Indians/Alaska Natives. American Indians/Alaska Natives diagnosed with HIV infection or AIDS have one of the shortest survival times of all ethnic or racial groups, suggesting that they may be diagnosed late in the course of their infection or have limited access to care.

To address this epidemic, we must confront these factors that continue to place Native people at risk for HIV infection. CDC continues to support effective HIV/AIDS prevention activities through the encouragement of early detection through HIV testing and by using culturally competent HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment strategies.

On this observance of NNHAAD, and throughout the year, Native organizations are encouraged to plan and host HIV/AIDS awareness events promoting testing and speaking out against HIV stigma. Social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter start conversations that together we can keep going all year long. We appreciate your support of Native communities, National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, and our programs throughout the year.



  
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This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.
 
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Native Americans & HIV/AIDS

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