Minority Health Determines Health Of The Nation

The Care and Prevention in the United States (CAPUS) Demonstration Project addresses social, economic, clinical and structural factors influencing HIV health outcomes (see earlier blog on CAPUS). Another strategy, High Impact Prevention, launched in 2012, targets areas with the highest rates of HIV with funding allocations to provide HIV testing and comprehensive prevention and care services. A third, the Expanded Testing Initiative (ETI) supports state and local health department efforts to provide routine HIV testing in health care and community settings.

There is also, The Act Against AIDS Leadership Initiative (AAALI), a component of CDC’s Act Against AIDS Initiative, which includes partnerships with 19 organizations that have demonstrated effective leadership, reach, credibility, influence, and a history of service to the African American and/or Latino communities. These organizations are integrating HIV awareness, prevention, testing, and stigma reduction into existing outreach and their day-to-day program activities. CDC also has national campaigns underway that deliver important messages about HIV infection for African Americans. Take Charge. Take the Test. encourages African American women to get tested for HIV. Testing Makes Us Stronger is aimed at increasing HIV testing among black gay and bisexual men. And Let’s Stop HIV Together, the newest AAA campaign, fights stigma and raises general awareness.

These programs and initiatives are removing barriers to HIV prevention. People are gaining knowledge about HIV and getting tested. Those with the disease are being linked to care and treatment services, and those not infected but at high risk are being provided prevention services.

We make progress with each person who learns about HIV on the radio or at faith gatherings, each person who is tested right in their community, each person who takes part in an HIV prevention program at a local organization, and each person who sees an HIV health care provider for the first time. These connections between prevention, testing, care and treatment are improving health one person, one block, one community at a time, while also raising the level of health for all in the United States.

I hope you will take time to look around at your community, your neighbor, friend, colleague, family and ask yourself how you can contribute to better health for each of them as well as yourself.

Disparities and inequities can be overcome with our help. A small step from each of us can go a long way to blazing a clear path to better health protection and disease prevention for the entire American population.