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Race Troubles: Why Do African-Americans With HIV Fare Worse?

Spring 2009

Since I began working as an HIV treatment educator in New York City, I've seen the faces of those I served change. As those faces grew to include primarily African-Americans and Latinos, I found myself both inspired and moved by my clients.

As a whole, they were deeply motivated to do as well on their treatment as possible. Many of them carried little cards logging their viral loads and CD4 counts. And they all knew their HIV meds like the back of their hands.

I found myself inspired by their desire to take charge of their health, but I also noticed that their journeys often had additional challenges. There was the fight to stay off the street, to stay off drugs, to find a place they could call home. Often there was a fight to repair their relationships with children, families, and loved ones. Many also had

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Visit ACRIA's website and GMHC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.
 
See Also
TheBody.com's HIV/AIDS Resource Center for African Americans
HIV and Me: An African American's Guide to Living With HIV
More on HIV Treatment in the African-American Community

Reader Comments:

Comment by: Mike (Tallahassee Fl) Fri., Jan. 29, 2010 at 9:42 am EST
Maybe HIV was developed as an ethnic specific virus as a memo written by Kissinger in 1969 suggests.
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Comment by: Kirk (Dallas, TX) Thu., Jan. 28, 2010 at 5:50 pm EST
This is a sobering report. Being HIV+ for almost 5 years, African American and not yet on meds (due to good CD4 and low viral load): my initial reaction is a little fear. I am glad I received my diagnosis within a few months of becoming infected, and maintaining a partnership with my HIV Specialist. I hope that when the time comes, when I am on meds, that my body will cooperate and respond favorably in everyway. I guess I can only wish and hope answers will be found. I hope this news helps others who are "sitting-on" the fence of caring for themselves. I just hope side effects will continue to be minimal, and adherence greater, and infection much much less. I also wish the stigma lessons as well.
Thanks for sharing this truth. I look forward to more studies.
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