AP/Biloxi Sun Herald Examines Medical Care for HIV/AIDS Patients in Mississippi Delta
The AP/Biloxi Sun Herald on Sunday examined HIV/AIDS treatment services in the Mississippi Delta and how many people living with HIV/AIDS in the region "struggle with the bureaucracy of receiving care." According to Alonzo Dukes -- president and CEO of the Greenville, Miss.-based Southern AIDS Commission, which sends workers into high-risk areas to educate people about HIV -- the Delta region ranks second in the state for the number of new HIV/AIDS cases. Dukes said HIV/AIDS patients in the rural Delta face different challenges than patients in urban areas -- such as traveling to Jackson, Miss., or another larger city to fill their prescriptions. He also said that interagency communication between the state Department of Health and agencies involved in HIV/AIDS work -- which is necessary to ensure that services are not being rendered twice in certain areas and neglected in others -- is lacking, hindering HIV/AIDS medical services in the state. In addition, he said that poverty, drugs, commercial sex work and a lack of education contribute to the spread of the virus, and that many HIV/AIDS patients have difficulty finding a physician in the area. "A lot of doctors don't like working with HIV patients," Dukes said, adding, "I don't know if they are afraid, I don't know what it is" (Bauman, AP/Biloxi Sun Herald, 12/18).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.