NPR's "All Things Considered" Examines HIV/AIDS Epidemic in Washington, D.C.
February 8, 2006
NPR's "All Things Considered" on Tuesday examined the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Washington, D.C. According to NPR, the rate of new AIDS cases reported each year in the district is 10 times the national average. Of the district's more than 500,000 residents, an estimated one in 50 is living with AIDS and one in 20 is HIV-positive, NPR reports. Cornelius Baker, former executive director of the Whitman-Walker Clinic in the district, said several factors contribute to the high HIV-prevalence rate in the city. Baker said, "We have a smaller population, but we also have a large gay community. ... We also have a majority black population, and the black community is being ravished by this epidemic." Baker said a poor health care infrastructure, inadequate primary care and high rates of drug addiction also are factors. The city's high rate of incarceration also contributes to the number of HIV/AIDS cases in the city, he said. "When you look at what is the single most common factor that is present when a black woman is infected with HIV by her partner, [it is that] he was incarcerated," Baker said, adding that jails are a "breeding ground" for HIV transmission. According to Baker, black political and religious leaders in the district have been slow to acknowledge the epidemic in the city.
Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, search the archives, or sign up for email delivery at www.kaisernetwork.org/dailyreports/hiv. The Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of the Kaiser Family Foundation, by The Advisory Board Company. © 2006 by The Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.
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