Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Native Health. Discussion »
WASHINGTON World AIDS Day draws attention to the current status of the human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) epidemic worldwide.
AIDS Ribbon Goes Up in Front of White House
In the United States, approximately 602,000 persons diagnosed with AIDS have died since the first cases were reported, and approximately 50,000 persons become infected with HIV each year. An estimated 1.1 million persons in the United States are living with HIV infection.
HIV awareness and consistent, widespread access to stigma-free HIV testing is especially important in our communities, because as many as 26 percent of the American Indian and Alaska Native people living with HIV infection do not know it.
People who do not know that they are living with HIV cannot seek the medical care available to support them in living a healthy, full life. In contrast, people who know they are living with HIV can protect their health and take action to prevent spreading the virus to others.
Amongst our people, HIV and AIDS have been diagnosed in both urban and rural populations, and on or near tribal lands.
The Indian Health Services National HIV/AIDS Program is committed to partnering with communities to create lasting change in the HIV/AIDS epidemic. We are providing programs to assist individuals, families, communities, and health care providers to:
Indian Health Services providers throughout the country are offering screening more often, collaborating with communities to increase education, and, offering care or referrals where direct care is not available. Ultimately, we can all do our part to reduce the stigma that surrounds HIV/AIDS within our culture and among health care providers.
posted December 1, 2012 11:50 am est