North Carolina ‘AIDS Sunday’ Calls Attention to Disease, Disparity Among Blacks
The Cape Fear Regional Bureau for Community Action on Sunday held its North Carolina 11th Annual Statewide AIDS Sunday, which addressed HIV prevention in general and the growing disparity in HIV infections between blacks and whites, the Fayetteville Observer reports. Statewide, 72% of all HIV cases are among blacks. Co-chair Rev. John Johnson said that the event, which included clergy, health workers and elected officials, was committed to "education, awareness, compassionate love ... the same as it was 11 years ago" and added that the organizers were "reaching out to the alienated." Carmen Hooker Buell, the state secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, said that she "plans to tackle the problem" of disparity between blacks and whites and added that the state's efforts will "depen[d]" on community groups. "A top-down approach is not going to work. We must invest in community-based initiatives," she said. The state Legislature recently increased HIV/AIDS funding, part of which will go toward subsidizing the purchase of AIDS drugs for residents. But state Rep. Marvin Lucas (D) warned that the budget increase was hard-won. "You need to know how close we came to losing funding for AIDS education. An ounce of prevention is something we need to be addressing," he said Sunday at the event (Williams, Fayetteville Observer, 10/29).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.