The following stories include a profile of an HIV-positive woman living in rural Eastern Washington, interviews examining the impact of HIV on individuals in the local African-American community, a look at the Latino community's response to AIDS in Seattle, a story on HIV-positive youth, and a case manager's experience working with African immigrants. We hope these articles will show how national trends manifest themselves locally and also highlight and encourage collaboration between communities and community-based organizations working to provide prevention and care for HIV/AIDS. These stories are not designed to speak for these communities, but to provide snapshots of the reality of these numbers and to illustrate that the never-ending stream of statistics about HIV/AIDS represents real people, families and communities.
The articles in this issue of the STEP Perspective were written in response to information from the Governor's Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (GACHA) meetings, as well as in the popular press, that demonstrates a rising impact of HIV/AIDS in communities of color, among women and youth, and in rural areas. The epidemic is changing and communities must respond. There will be no one magic bullet. Instead, there must be multiple, flexible approaches to preventing HIV and to providing care and services to those living with HIV and AIDS.