AIDS Case Rate Among Latinas in Pennsylvania Almost Twice the National Rate, Study Shows
The AIDS case rate among Hispanic women in Pennsylvania is nearly twice the national average for Latinas, according to a study released Monday by the Philadelphia AIDS Consortium, the AP/Harrisburg Patriot-News reports. The study found that the AIDS case rate was 25 cases per 100,000 Latinas ages 13 and older in Pennsylvania, compared to 14 cases per 100,000 Latinas nationwide. In addition, the AIDS case rate for African-American women was 43 cases per 100,000 in Pennsylvania and nationwide, while the rate for white women was two cases per 100,000 in the state and nationally. The study was based on a survey of 57 community-based organizations, which asked questions about AIDS, sexual behavior and drug use. Lawrence Hochendoner, executive director of the Philadelphia AIDS Consortium, said that the survey showed that Latinas "often feel pressured to have unprotected sex with their husbands" and that they are "frequently pressured by their husbands to keep quiet about the disease," according to the AP/Patriot-News. However, Karlie Stanton, a spokesperson for the CDC National Center for HIV, STD and TB Prevention, said that the "frequency of AIDS cases typically depends more on access to health care and education than ethnicity," although those factors "can correlate with race and ethnicity," the AP/Patriot-News reports. "Race and ethnicity are not themselves a risk factor for HIV and AIDS," she said (Walters, AP/Harrisburg Patriot-News, 1/14). In response to the study, the Philadelphia AIDS Consortium is launching a focused educational campaign designed to teach Hispanic women in Pennsylvania about the disease and how to talk with their partners about condom use. "Reaching these populations through effective prevention efforts must involve a clear understanding of the social, cultural and economic forces impacting the HIV/AIDS risk factors of African Americans and Latinas," Philadelphia AIDS Consortium Board President Luciano Orsini said (Philadelphia AIDS Consortium release, 1/13).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.