Alarming CDC Statistics Demonstrate Need For Expanded AIDS Prevention Efforts Among Women and People of Color
Statement of Christine Lubinski
Deputy Executive Director
April 19, 1996
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention statistics released yesterday indicate that in 1995 women and people of color represented the fastest growing groups of new AIDS cases. Women accounted for 19 percent of all AIDS cases among adults and adolescents nationwide, their highest proportion ever. More than half of those women are African-American and up to a quarter are Latinas. And, while the incidence of AIDS decreased among white men in 1995, among men of color, specifically African-Americans and Latinos, the incidence of AIDS continued its upward spiral at an alarming rate.
These grim statistics underscore the need for a concerted national effort to remedy the appalling inequities that exist in federal HIV prevention programs and in the nation's health care delivery system - inequities which significantly contribute to the spread of AIDS. Increased efforts are needed to educate all Americans, but particularly women and people of color, about the reality of HIV transmission. Increased efforts are needed to communicate the unique manifestations of HIV infection in women. HIV prevention messages must involve open and honest communication and must take into account social, cultural and gender issues that are all too often ignored in prevention efforts. Better research on the nature of HIV disease in women and people of color is critical, as are appropriate treatments. And, finally, the federal government must fulfill its responsibility to safeguard the public health, both by adequately funding HIV prevention, care and research programs and by guaranteeing adequate and equal access to quality health care for all Americans. Congress must desist from its attempts to gut Medicaid, a program upon which millions of Americans, including low-income women and people of color, now rely for basic health care. AIDS Action calls upon the public health community, with crucial support from the federal government, to act quickly and assertively to protect all Americans from this insidious virus.
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This article was provided by AIDS Action Council.