August 9, 2004
"Different, Unequal" Epidemics
Dr. Daniel Kuritzkes, director of AIDS research at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, said he believes there are "two very different and unequal tracks of HIV treatment and care in the U.S.," the Times reports. He said, "In the ideal track, a person discovers they are HIV-infected, seeks medical care, has regular follow-up and avoids complications by taking a regimen reliably," but in the other path, patients "come to the hospital with full-blown AIDS as their initial diagnosis." Kuritzkes added, "By and large, the deaths are among this group, which tends to be African-American." Dr. Valerie Stone, a physician at Massachusetts General Hospital, said, "[I]t is now clear that management of this very complex disease is much more difficult than just taking pills, particularly for my African-American patients who often have very difficult life challenges." She added, "So now when I go to these international AIDS meetings and hear that the problem is solved here, I get incredibly angry. This epidemic is out of control in the black community. There is no magic bullet" (Villarosa, New York Times, 8/7).
A Kaiser Family Foundation survey on minorities and AIDS, titled "Survey of American on HIV/AIDS: Part Three -- Experiences and Opinions by Race/Ethnicity and Age" and cited in the Times article, is available online.
Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, search the archives, or sign up for email delivery at www.kaisernetwork.org/dailyreports/hiv. The Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of the Kaiser Family Foundation, by The Advisory Board Company. © 2004 by The Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.