HEALTHIER YOU: HIV prevention should be a top priority for African-Americans
BY DR. ANNETTE MAYES
As African-Americans continue experiencing higher rates of HIV infection than other racial/ethnic groups, it has never been more important to get tested for the virus that causes AIDS.
After all, testing is the first line of defense. But too many people are neglecting this simple, most fundamental step — putting African- Americans at an even higher risk of infection. Lack of awareness of HIV status often results in missed opportunities to get early medical care and prevent transmission to others.
A number of factors play into this sad reality: Stigma, fear, discrimination and homophobia are among them. Socioeconomic factors are also at play, such as limited access to high-quality health care, housing, and HIV prevention education among them.
These factors may also explain why African- Americans have worse outcomes on the HIV continuum of care, including lower rates of linkage to care, retention in care, being prescribed HIV treatment (ART), and viral suppression.
I know that so many of us will soon be celebrating the Christmas and Kwanzaa holidays, but let’s also remember that December 1 is World AIDS Day. It is the perfect time to remind ourselves to get tested for HIV, — and encourage others to do the same.
For additional information, contact the Las Vegas All Women’s Care Offices at (702) 522-9640. Or visit us at 700 Shadow Lane No. 165 (1st floor) in Las Vegas.