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U.S. News

North Carolina: Armed With Flavored Condoms, Health Workers Take Aim at AIDS

February 10, 2004

According to CDC, Southern states have a third of the nation's population but 40 percent of all Americans living with AIDS, and 44 percent of new HIV/AIDS cases, mostly among blacks and the growing Hispanic population. Each ethnic group makes up about 13 percent of the U.S. population, but together they accounted for 70 percent of new AIDS cases in 2002.

"Not only are they the ones disproportionately affected but they're also the hardest to reach," said Holly Baddour, executive director of the Chatham Social Health Council, a nonprofit based in Siler City, N.C. Over the next three years the council, which had three employees and a $76,000 budget last year, will receive $150,000 from Pfizer Inc. -- part of $3 million the company is spending to combat HIV/AIDS in nine Southern states. Baddour said the money will help pay for programs tailored to blacks and Hispanics and allow the organization to hire a part-time worker to help Aldolfo Aguilar, who distributes about 4,000 condoms a month in stores, factories, pawn shops and pool halls where Spanish speakers congregate. About one-tenth of Chatham County's 50,000 residents are Hispanic.

Linda Ferguson is Aguilar's counterpart in the black community. She recruits ministers, barbers and beauticians to the safe-sex cause.

Money to fight the spread of HIV/AIDS in the South has not kept up with the pace of the epidemic, according to Dr. Robert Janssen, director of the Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention at CDC. Northeastern and Western organizations established to fight HIV/AIDS in its early years still receive the most financial help, he said.

Back to other news for February 10, 2004

Adapted from:
Associated Press
02.07.04; William L. Holmes



  
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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
 

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