Lancet Publishes Article on HIV/AIDS Among U.S. Blacks
"Understanding and Responding to Disparities in HIV and Other Sexually Transmitted Infections in African-Americans," Lancet: Sevgi Aral, Adaora Adimora and Kevin Fenton of CDC in this viewpoint piece examine how rates of "infection with HIV and some other sexually transmitted infections are higher among African-Americans than among European Americans." According to the authors, growing "evidence indicates that disease epidemics and, consequently, disparities in morbidity rates, are outcomes of the functioning of systems." They add, "Populations function as complex systems, and disease rates might result from the characteristics of individuals in the population, the interactions and interdependencies between individuals, the effects of population-level factors on individual-level health outcomes, and the interplay between individual-level and population-level factors." To address this issue, the "African-American HIV and STI prevention research agenda needs to be more deliberately placed within a social determinants and social justice framework," the authors write, adding, "Persistent stigma and silence surround HIV and STIs among African-Americas, but community mobilization efforts can help mitigate their effect." In addition, "committed leadership at the highest levels in the African-American community and in governments across the country is essential," the authors write. They conclude, "Without efforts to fundamentally improve population health and well-being by addressing the root causes of these epidemics, African-Americans will continue to be severely affected and disadvantaged" (Aral et al., Lancet, 7/26).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.