Raleigh News & Observer in Series of Articles Examines Challenges of Fighting HIV/AIDS in North Carolina
The Raleigh News & Observer on Sunday in a series of articles examined the challenges of fighting HIV/AIDS in North Carolina. Summaries of the articles appears below.
- "AIDS Creeps Back": The number of new HIV cases in North Carolina -- most of which are among African Americans, women and the poor -- has been rising over the past three years and is now are reaching an "historic hig[h]" after peaking in the 1990s, according to the News & Observer. African Americans account for 22% of the state's population but 71% of its HIV/AIDS cases, and African-American women in the state are 14 times as likely as white women to be HIV-positive, the News & Observer reports. As a result of the increasing number of new cases -- 2,100 people were newly diagnosed in 2003 -- the costs associated with the disease are rising, particularly as more of the state's poor and disadvantaged are affected, and a "different prevention challenge" has emerged, as many high-risk behaviors "often have their roots in the despair of poverty," according to the News & Observer (Avery , Raleigh News & Observer, 2/6). The complete article is available online.
- "Our fair share?": Congressional members from Southern states this year are "poised to battle big cities" over how Ryan White CARE Act funding is allocated, the News & Observer reports. The act, which is scheduled to be reauthorized this year, provides $2 billion annually for HIV/AIDS care and treatment nationwide. In 2003, AIDS advocates from 14 states published the "Southern States Manifesto," which called for increased federal funding to fight the epidemic in the region, where the disease increasingly is moving into rural areas and minority populations (Avery , Raleigh News & Observer, 2/6). The complete article is available online.
- "Research going full-steam": The News & Observer interviewed Dr. Myron Cohen, director of the Center for Infectious Diseases at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine in Chapel Hill, about how North Carolina's HIV/AIDS research activities compare to other states' research. According to Cohen, the state's HIV/AIDS researchers, who work for both public and private organizations, "have received remarkable federal and international support, comparable to the biggest urban areas like New York and San Francisco" (Raleigh News & Observer, 2/6). The complete interview is available online.
- "Federal money inadequate": Although "it is crucial that new federal money be secured and targeted to [North Carolina] and other Southern states where the burden of [HIV/AIDS] has shifted," North Carolina serves as a "national model for several innovative strategies" for HIV/AIDS prevention, state Health Director Dr. Leah Devlin writes in a News & Observer opinion piece. "It is essential that we re-energize and mobilize North Carolina communities to get informed and get involved in the fight against HIV/AIDS," she says (Devlin, Raleigh News & Observer, 2/6).