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U.S. News

African-American Women Leaders Urge Obama to Target Black Women in National AIDS Strategy

December 17, 2009

African-American women in leadership positions in business, academia, media, and other fields gathered last month at a conference in Washington to discuss how the National AIDS Strategy (NAS) could best address the specific needs of black women. HIV/AIDS is the leading cause of death for African-American women ages 25-34, but these women are "rarely focused on as a group," said the coalition, which was organized by the National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS (NBLCA).

African Americans "remain notably absent from public policy and resource-allocation decisions affecting communities of African descent nationwide," said C. Virginia Fields, NBLCA's president and CEO.

The women made NAS policy recommendations that fell under three broad themes: reducing HIV incidence, expanding access to care, and reducing HIV-related health disparities. Their suggestions were:

  • Create a surveillance system that includes social determinants relating to HIV incidence.
  • Integrate efforts addressing domestic violence, substance abuse and mental health.
  • Create a clear marketing plan so African-American women see themselves in the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
  • Develop and support public campaigns that encourage women's participation in service programs.
  • Provide mobile health care services for underserved communities.
  • Encourage "cross-fertilization" among federal offices that address the same populations, and encourage those programs to solicit input from African-American women.
  • Conform resource allocation to the epidemic's realities, including by offering HIV testing in non-traditional settings.
  • Develop programs to address issues including stigma, addiction and gender identity.

Back to other news for December 2009

Adapted from:
St. Louis American

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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.
See Also
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President Obama and HIV/AIDS