Urgent Action Needed To Address HIV/AIDS Among U.S. Minority Communities as Cases ‘Skyrocket,’ Expert Says
HIV/AIDS rates among blacks and Hispanics in the U.S. have reached alarming levels, and the U.S. urgently needs to establish new initiatives to address the spread of the disease among the groups, Beny Primm, executive director of Brooklyn, N.Y.-based Addiction Research and Treatment, said at an event in Connecticut on Sunday, the Hartford Courant reports. Primm, who was a federal health official under President George H.W. Bush, spoke at the Greater Hartford chapter of The Links, a professional black women's group, where he was recognized for his work related to substance abuse, domestic violence and HIV/AIDS.
Primm said, "It's not on the radar screen. There are not enough voices being raised." Primm said the spread of HIV among black women in particular has not received the same media attention as other groups. He said HIV/AIDS cases among blacks and Hispanics "are skyrocketing," while cases "are at emergency numbers" in black women.
Primm's work has focused, in part, on the connection between the spread of HIV infection through injection drug use. He recently represented the U.S. at World Health Organization meetings and at an international conference on AIDS prevention in London, according to the Courant.
Sharon Steinle, a Links member and chair of the event, said, "Globally, underserved communities are being ravaged by this disease, and the effects on women have been particularly devastating." She added, "As a volunteer-based organization focused on the betterment of women and the community, we feel it is our duty to educate others about HIV/AIDS and its prevention" (Jones, Hartford Courant, 5/5).