Advocates Declare ‘State of Emergency’ Over Disproportionate Rate of AIDS Cases in Long Island Minority Communities
AIDS activists on Saturday held a conference on Long Island, N.Y., to declare a "state of emergency" over the disproportionate rate of AIDS cases among the area's African-American and Hispanic communities, Long Island Newsday reports. At the conference, organized by a coalition of not-for-profit organizations, advocates cited reports from New York state health officials and studies that have "consistently indicated that AIDS is disproportionately affecting communities of color, and that the trend is not receding." Minorities account for about half of Long Island's reported AIDS cases, which at the end of 2000 included about 3,300 in each county, Newsday reports. The advocates called for increased funds for "overwhelmed" community-based organizations that serve individuals with HIV/AIDS. They said that government support has "failed to keep up" with the increased number of AIDS cases in Long Island. Jill Williams, director of the AIDS service program at Five Towns Community Center, said, "Federal funding has been flat, and the needs are growing." Advocates also raised concerns about the increased number of young people with HIV, as well as the rise in the number of women who contract HIV through heterosexual contact. Williams said, "We're saying to our local representatives, 'We need to hear you speaking about HIV/AIDS more than you do' ... and that has to mean more money flowing into our community" (Rabin, Long Island Newsday, 10/18).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.