July 13, 2005
The "conditions are ripe" for HIV/AIDS to reach "epidemic proportions" in American Indian communities, but a concerted effort between federal, state, local and tribal agencies could "tip the balance the other direction," an Arizona Republic editorial says. HIV/AIDS is a "time bomb" among the American Indian population because of factors such as isolation of tribal communities and high rates of hepatitis C, alcoholism and sexually transmitted diseases, the editorial says. Although resources for programs in the community currently are "skimpy and disconnected," agencies could work together to improve access to treatment and testing, as well as design and implement prevention programs that are adapted for American Indians, according to the editorial. "A [prevention] program won't be effective unless it meshes with tribal culture, using the right degree of explicitness, respecting taboos about discussing sex and finding appropriate ways to address sensitive issues," the editorial says (Arizona Republic, 7/11).
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. © 2004 by The Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.