Idaho AIDS Study Looks at Canyon's High Rate
April 7, 2008
Idaho State University-Boise (ISU) will join local partners in Caldwell on April 10 to discuss HIV and the importance of testing, which will be offered free at the event. The meeting at the Family Services Center was prompted especially by concerns about HIV/AIDS among Hispanics in Southwest Idaho.
Over the last two years in Treasure Valley, 45 percent of those whose initial HIV and AIDS diagnoses were concurrent were Hispanics residing in Health District 3, which includes Canyon, Owyhee, Adams, Payette, Gem, and Washington counties.
The finding is consistent with national figures showing minorities, women, and gay men among those most at risk for HIV, said Judy Thorne, HIV education coordinator for ISU. Last year, she conducted a 70-item survey to determine how the early diagnosis rate could be improved and how the Hispanic community viewed HIV/AIDS. The survey was administered to 129 Hispanics in Health District 3.
Residents had inadequate access to health care, and medical providers were not always testing patients for HIV, Thorne and colleagues discovered. HIV myths were also present in the community: More than 20 percent attributed the disease to fate or predestination.
However, Thorne's team also found that more than 75 percent of those surveyed said they wanted to take an HIV test if one were offered. That included 72 percent of respondents who did not personally feel they were at risk for HIV.
"[That they] would like to know their status should warrant a test," Thorne said.
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.