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When We Talk About HIV, Who Are We Not Talking About Enough?

 4/15 

Matt Ignacio

Matt Ignacio

National Native American AIDS Prevention Center, Denver

Specifically, our organization works with American Indian/Alaskan Native/Native Hawaiian populations that are infected and affected by HIV. There was a recent New York Times article about one particular tribe that's had a 400 percent increase in HIV rates over the last 12 years -- in part because of better surveillance, but we need to continue talking about and addressing prevention needs for indigenous populations that live in rural/reservation communities.

Part of this is inviting people to the table to speak, without having an agenda set -- there's nothing worse than being invited to a meeting and the agenda's all set for you, and you donít really have a voice -- so creating a real space for people to speak up and address key issues.

Part of it is also on Native people to stand up and speak about HIV. I think we need more of that, and I think when we have visible Native people who aren't afraid to speak up, it makes the work that much easier.




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