Mission

The Health Equity Blog’s mission is to contribute to the discussion of health policy using evidence and research, to explore the opportunities for health equity through policy change, to raise awareness about health disparities, and to increase public advocacy for health equality.

According to the CDC, “Health equity is achieved when every person has the opportunity to ‘attain his or her full health potential’ and no one is ‘disadvantaged from achieving this potential because of social position or other socially determined circumstances.’”

Achievement of full health potential is necessary in all aspects of life – from running errands to relationships with loved ones. Some people are born into environments that limit their ability to achieve their full health potential. We believe that because society created many health inequalities, society can also fix them.

Monday, February 17, 2014

National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

February 7th was National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. In order to raise awareness about the disproportionate burden HIV/AIDS has on the Black community, we are dedicating this post to discussing some possible causes for the disparity.  


The Health Disparities
Black Americans are disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS. In 2010, Black individuals made up 44% of all new HIV infections. This is despite the fact that the U.S. population is only 12% Black. In addition to HIV, one half of all newly diagnosed AIDS cases were to Black individuals. Note that AIDS is the most advanced form of HIV. Among those Black Americans diagnosed with HIV, Black Americans are less likely to be treated for HIV and are more likely to die as a result.


HIV/AIDS is spread within social circles, therefore creating clusters of incidence in some communities. Since HIV is primarily spread by sex or sharing needles with someone who is infected with HIV, it is essential that those already infected with HIV are aware of their condition. When an individuals knows they are infected with HIV he/she can be prescribed antiretrovirals. Antiretrovirals suppresses the HIV infection and reduce the spread of the disease.  In 2010, one-in-six Blacks living with HIV did not know of their diagnosis. Like all races/ethnicities, Black individuals tend to have sex with partners who are also Black.  After an HIV diagnosis, one-in-three Blacks get medical care and viral suppression. So to recap – Black Americans have both higher rates of HIV and are less likely to be treated.
Possible Contributing Factors
1.     Poverty. A quarter of African American families live in poverty. Low-income individuals might drop out of school at early ages, have difficulty seeking employment, and engage in risky behaviors such as drug use. Without steady employment, health insurance is challenging to obtain, especially in states that opted out of expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Since HIV education is typically done in high school, dropping out of school at an early age may also prevent an individual from receiving HIV prevention education. Poverty can also force individuals to use sex as a way to earn money, thus increasing the chance of HIV spreading throughout sexual partners. A fatalistic view of life is also correlated with poverty. In a 2006 study that surveyed LA gang members, one-in-four felt it didn’t matter if they got HIV because they would die young anyway. Poor individuals tend to live in poor neighborhoods that lack adequate transportation and/or medical facilities.
2.     Imprisonment. Many people entering prison already have HIV. The prevalence of AIDS in prisons is estimated to be three times higher than the general population.  African Americans are incarcerated at the rate six times that of White Americans and in 2001, one in six Black men had been incarcerated at one time of their life. High prison rates increase risky behaviors associated with HIV. Jail time and poverty are closely related since jail time reduces the ability for those sentenced to get work experience and creates a blemish on their criminal record for future employment opportunities. However, there is good news – incarceration rates for Blacks dropped sharply between 2000 and 2009.
3.     Stigma. The fear of discussing risky sexual behaviors, drug use, or sexual orientation may keep Black Americans from being tested for HIV and seeking treatment. Some experts suggest that this stigma is tied, in part, to the religious belief that homosexuality is a sin in church congregations with a majority Black members. Since HIV/AIDS first was seen as a disease for white, gay men, it is still associated with homosexuality. Fueling the stigma against HIV/AIDS is the misinformation related to transmission of the disease.

What can we do?

Raise awareness around HIV/AIDS. In the last several years, the federal government attempted to do this by dedicated a day to HIV/AIDS in the Black Community, dedicating additional funds, and creating new educational materials. However, this information needs to trickle down into the areas of this county that are ripe with poverty. A possible way to do this is to use community health workers to work with Black Americans where they live. For more information about what we can do to alleviate the burden of HIV/AIDS on the black community, check out this website.

4 comments:

  1. MY NAME IS DORIS ALFRED FROM SOUTH AFRICA...I SAW THIS COMMENT ON POSITIVE BLOGS AND I WILL LOVE TO TELL EVERY BODY HOW MY STATUS CHANGES TO NEGATIVE, AND AM NOW A LIVING WITNESS OF IT AND I THINK ITS A SHAME ON ME IF I DON'T SHARE THIS LOVELY STORY WITH OTHER PEOPLE INFeCTED WITH THIS DEADLY VIRUS...,HIV HAS BEEN ONGOING IN MY FAMILY... I LOST BOTH PARENTS TO HIV,. AND IT IS SO MUCH PAIN IVE NOT BEEN ABLE TO GET OVER.. AS WE ALL KNOW MEDICALLY THERE IS NO SOLUTION TO IT..AND MEDICATION IS VERY EXPENSIVE..SO SOMEONE INTRODUCED ME TO A NATIVE MEDICAL PRACTITIONER IN AFRICA..I HAD A JOB THERE TO EXECUTE SO I TOOK TIME TO CHECK OUT ON HIM.I SHOWED HIM ALL MY TESTS AND RESULTS.. I WAS ALREADY DIAGNOSED WITH HIV AND IT WAS ALREADY TAKING ITS TOWL ON ME.. I HAD SPENT THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS SO I DECIDED TO TRY HIM OUT...I WAS ON HIS DOSAGE FOR 3 WEEKS. ALTHOUGH I DIDNT BELIEVE IN IT, I WAS JUST TRYING IT OUT OF FRUSTRATION... AND AFTER 2 WEEKS, I WENT FOR NEW TESTS... AND YOU WONT BELIEVE THAT 5 DIFFERENT DOCTORS CONFIRMED IT THAT AM NEGATIVE..IT WAS LIKE A DREAM,,I NEVER BELIEVE AIDS HAS CURE..AM NOW NEGATIVE,,AM A LIVING WITNESS..I DONT KNOW HOW TO THANK THIS MAN... I JUST WANT TO HELP OTHERS IN ANY WAY I CAN..HAVE JOINED MANY FORUMS AND HAVE POSTED THIS TESTIMONIES AND ALOT OF PEOPLE HAS MAIL AND CALLED THIS MAN ON PHONE AND AFTER 2 MONTHS THEY ALL CONFIRMED NEGATIVE..BBC NEWS TOOK IT LIVE AND EVERY.. HOPE HE HELPS YOU OUT.. EVERYBODY SAW IT AND ITS NOW OUT IN PAPERS AND MAGAZINES THAT THERE'S NATIVE CURE FOR HIV AND ALL WITH THE HELP OF THIS MAN,,HAVE TRIED MY OWN PARTS AND ALL LEFT WITH YOU,,IF YOU LIKE TAKE IT OR NOT..GOD KNOWS HAVE TRIED MY BEST.ABOUT 97 PEOPLE HAVE BEEN CONFIRMED NEGATIVE THROUGH ME..AND THEY SEND MAILS TO THANKS ME AFTER THEY HAVE BEEN CONFIRMED NEGATIVE,,THIS MAN IS REAL..DON'T MISS THIS CHANCE,,HIV IS A DEADLY VIRUS,,GET RID OF IT NOW..

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  2. Hello everyone I’m here to share a testimony on how my HIV was cure by a herbal doctor with the help of herbal medicine and herbal soap, As we all know medically, there is no solution or cure for HIV and the cost for Medication is very expensive. Someone introduced me to a man (Native Medical Practitioner) I showed the man all my Tests and Results and I told him i have already diagnosed with HIV and have spent thousands of dollars on medication. I said I will like to try him cause someone introduced me to him. He asked me sorts of questions and I answered him correctly. To cut the story short, He gave me some medicinal soaps and some herbs(have forgot the name he called them) and he thought me how am going to use them all. At first I was skeptical but I just gave it a try. I was on his Medication for 2 weeks and I used all the soaps and herbs according to his prescription. That he will finish the rest himself. And I called him 3 days after, I arrived and I told him what is the next thing he said, he has been expecting my call. He told me to visit my doctor for another test. Honestly speaking, i never believe all he was saying until after the test when my doctor mention the statement that am, HIV negative and the doctor started asking me how come about the cure, And I make a promise to dr osas that if I’m heal I will testify his good work in my life, if there is anyone out there who may need the help of dr osas you can email him via his email address drosasherbalhome@gmail.com For any type of sickness he can cure any disease WhatSAPP OR CALL him via his number +2349035428122 he also has herbal oil for Penis Enlargement

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  3. Hello my good friends please do not see this strange cause it my life story about my healing, i was having HIV for good 6yrs. Things were not working fine for me due to my health status i know longer have friends know lover it even takes time before my family co-operate with me due to this, i tried all possible means i can to get this devilish virus out of my body, i went to hospitals churches and other heath organization but all remains the same till yet i never gave up cos i was not born with this virus so i decided to take it over to the internet to see if i could get remedy, on my search i saw a testimony of a woman, she said she was also having a terrible disease for over 3yrs but now she is healed i was surprise at first when i saw her test so she wrote a name of the doctor,dr ramah and also gave his email id so i mailed them which is (dr.ramahherbalhome@gmail.com) i told him about my problem and after the processes he told me that am healed, but i never believed he told me to go and confirm it from the hospital were i have been taking treatment still i never believed also although he gave me evidence that the sickness was gone.

    Finally i decided to go for check up and to my surprise my doctor said the virus was know longer there with thought of joy i started shearing tears.

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