Two Utah Organizations To Use CDC Grant To Assess HIV Prevalence Among State’s American Indians
Two not-for-profit organizations in Utah plan to use a $330,000 CDC grant to provide an accurate assessment of HIV/AIDS prevalence among American Indians in the state, the Salt Lake Tribune reports. The Harm Reduction Project and the Indian Walk-In Center in Salt Lake City plan to provide HIV testing at no cost at the Walk-In Center's downtown office, which serves American Indians who live in the area and who come to the city seeking services. The agencies hope to provide HIV testing for 2,000 of Utah's 30,000 American Indians over a two-year span. According to 2004 data from the Utah Department of Health, 36 of the state's total 2,909 HIV/AIDS cases were among American Indians or Alaskan Natives, the Tribune reports. However, some officials say that the number of HIV/AIDS cases is underreported and American Indians might not be receiving information and services they need to prevent HIV infection, according to the Tribune. Dena Ned, executive director for the Walk-In Center, said that in the past, non-Indian health care workers have experienced difficulty explaining the disease to the American Indian population, the Tribune reports. Between 8,000 and 9,000 people visit the Walk-In Center annually. "It's always better to have culturally appropriate services," Luciano Colonna, executive director of the Harm Reduction Project, said, adding, "There are things we don't know about the population" (Guidos, Salt Lake Tribune, 9/22).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.