Virginia HIV/AIDS Advocates Seek To Increase Treatment Access for Minorities
HIV/AIDS advocates in Virginia plan to "reach out" to non-English speakers by focusing on language barriers and other cultural differences that impede their access to care, according to a three-year service plan released on Wednesday, the AP/Hampton Roads Daily Press reports. The Statewide Comprehensive Plan for HIV Services -- which details plans to count the number of non-English speaking HIV-positive people, hire more multilingual HIV care providers and establish a state directory that lists multilingual providers -- aims to foster relationships with ethnic and faith-based groups to ensure that non-English speaking communities receive equal treatment and that providers are sensitive to cultural differences, including those surrounding the discussion of sexual behaviors, the AP/Daily Press reports. Officials plan to survey state-funded providers' "cultural competence" and create training programs to address prejudices, according to the AP/Daily Press. Diana Jordan, director of Health Care Service, said, "The (minority) concern has been apparent to people addressing HIV issues for a long time. In this plan, our intent is to take a more tangible approach." Jordan said that it is increasingly important to address the needs of non-English speaking communities, including undocumented immigrant communities, which do not face mandatory HIV testing upon entering the U.S. (Walker, AP/Hampton Roads Daily Press, 2/1).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.