November 30, 2001
"The good news is that HIV infections fell dramatically since the 1980s with new cases falling from 150,000 a year to about 40,000 during the 1990s. I am pleased to report that we have begun to educate, motivate and mobilize Americans against HIV/AIDS," said Satcher, former Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). "Unfortunately, data suggests the majority of these estimated 40,000 new HIV infections are disproportionately among people of color, especially African Americans and Hispanics which make up more than 73% of all new HIV infections." Satcher also indicated that HIV infection rates are also steadily rising among women and young people.
Satcher said the devastating impact on communities of color and this year's World AIDS Day theme -- Men Make A Difference -- "compels me to call upon all men to take a stand against HIV/AIDS. Men must avoid unsafe and risky behaviors, such as unprotected sex and the sharing of equipment used for injecting drugs." The World AIDS Day theme encourages men to take a larger role in health care for themselves and their loved ones.
The Director of the Office of HIV/AIDS Policy and The White House's Acting-Deputy Director for the Office of National AIDS Policy, Dr. Eric Goosby, noted that two Federal initiatives were created to respond to the epidemic in communities of color -- Crisis Response Team (CRT) and The Leadership Campaign on AIDS (TLCA).
"CRT offers intensive technical assistance and develops local capacity for assessing and developing prevention and treatment solutions in cities whose minority populations are hardest hit by the HIV/AIDS epidemic," said Goosby. "TLCA works in partnership with minority leaders to increase HIV/AIDS awareness and to address stigma and discrimination issues, often roadblocks to effective prevention, treatment and care."
In conjunction with World AIDS Day, Goosby said CRT is holding its first national meeting in Washington -- December 1, 2. "We need to continue to mobilize communities, redefine risks and rethink interventions." Currently, CRT is operating in Atlanta, Baltimore, Boca Raton, West Palm Beach, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, Miami, Newark, New Haven, Oakland, Philadelphia and U.S. Virgin Islands.
For more information about CRT, TLCA, and -- most importantly -- HIV/AIDS facts and statistics, please visit the Surgeon General's HIV/AIDS Website: www.surgeongeneral.gov/AIDS or visit the CDC's Website: www.cdc.gov/hiv/dhap.htm.