Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations
CDC Studies Show Racial Disparities in Health Care, Including Higher HIV/AIDS Mortality Rate Among Blacks
CDC in the Jan. 14 issue of its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report published several studies addressing racial disparities in health care, including higher rates of death from HIV/AIDS-related causes among African Americans compared with whites, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports (Wahlberg, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 1/14). According to one study, African Americans have an HIV/AIDS mortality rate 8.7 times higher than whites (Atlanta Journal-Constitution chart, 1/14). African Americans also have higher rates of many infectious diseases, according to the Journal-Constitution. The rate of gonorrhea among African Americans is 24 times the rate among whites, and rates of chlamydia and syphilis among African Americans are nine times the rate among whites, according to CDC data. The studies also found that African Americans have higher rates of malaria, typhoid fever, hepatitis B and the bacterial infection shigellosis, while whites experience higher rates of lyme disease and giardiasis, an intestinal disease contracted from waterborne parasites. Health officials suggested more culturally sensitive programs targeting African Americans in order to correct the disparities. "We've been talking about the problem, but we haven't done enough in terms of resources and making sure interventions known to be effective are used widely in both populations," Dr. Ben Truman, associate director of science in CDC's Office of Minority Health, said (Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 1/14). The reports are available online.
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