Progress Reported on Curbing Racial Disparities in HIV Care
October 30, 2002
Researchers examining the issue of racial disparity in HIV care and treatment have found that some clinics and states have made progress in reducing disparity through a variety of programs and measures.
"The most promising strategy is to contract with minority community-based organizations to do treatment education and outreach," said Stephen F. Morin, Ph.D., professor of medicine at the University of California-San Francisco and the AIDS Research Institute in San Francisco. Another strategy is to create a position of regional minority coordinator whose job is to provide treatment education and outreach efforts. In Florida, one outreach program used black colleges and universities and their football games to spread the word about HIV treatment and information, Morin said.
Providers also have been involved with HIV awareness outreach through minority media outlets in California, New York, Texas, and Florida. The only drawback is that none of these outreach efforts have been studied with regard to outcomes, and researchers have recommended that the Health Resources and Services Administration undertake this evaluation, Morin said.
T. Anne Richards, M.A., a UCSF research specialist, discussed a San Francisco clinic that helps patients with more than their clinical needs. "If the patient's basic life needs weren't covered, then HIV falls in priority, so the clinic would help them make arrangements for housing and check in with them to make sure the housing situation was conducive to their taking medications."
The clinic also placed heavy emphasis on educating patients before they begin antiretroviral therapy, and it had an effective method for keeping track of newly diagnosed clients. Once a client received a positive HIV serostatus notice, the clinic's staff would walk the patient to the clinic to make a medical appointment, Richards said. The clinic also encouraged HIV patients to bring family members and friends into the clinic where they could be involved in decision making and providing patient support, she said. "This is a real community model of what defines the neighborhood of services. This is not rocket science; it's simple, practical things."
This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.