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

November 15, 2013


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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