Minority AIDS Initiative
WHAT IS THE PUBLIC HEALTH ISSUE?
Communities of color, including African-American, Hispanic/Latino, Asian and
Pacific Islander, American Indian/Alaska Native, have been disproportionately
affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic. In 2003, minorities represented more than 64
percent of persons living with AIDS, and African-Americans accounted for 50
percent of all new diagnoses of HIV/AIDS in 32 states and 1 US Territory with
name-based HIV reporting. Further, an estimated 182,989 men who have sex with
men (MSM) were living with AIDS, 47 percent of whom were MSM of color. To be
successful, HIV prevention must address the diverse communities affected by the
HIV epidemic. Prevention efforts must focus on groups at greatest risk,
particularly African-American and Hispanic/Latino populations. Programs must be
relevant to the lives of the target population, appropriate to age, culture,
community standards, and language. The programs should be designed with input
from the affected community and delivered by organizations and people with
credibility in that community.
WHAT HAS CDC ACCOMPLISHED?
Since 1999, CDC has received funding through the Minority AIDS Initiative
(MAI) to enhance efforts to prevent the acquisition or transmission of HIV
infections in racial and ethnic minority communities. With MAI resources, CDC
supports community-based HIV prevention programs, capacity building programs to
assist community-based organizations (CBOs) in implementing HIV prevention
programs, and targeted education efforts to raise awareness of the importance
of HIV testing. CDC also conducts supplemental surveillance to define the
magnitude of the epidemic in racial and ethnic communities. Minority-focused
research is conducted to develop and refine culturally relevant interventions
Example of Program in Action:
New and innovative HIV prevention programs that focus on young African American
college students and other diverse groups are needed. In fiscal year 2004, CDC
funded four Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HCBUs) in Arkansas,
Georgia, Mississippi, and Washington, DC, to conduct routine rapid HIV testing
and to document barriers and successes in developing an HIV testing program.
CDC plans to use findings from these demonstration projects to design and
implement HIV/AIDS prevention messages and activities in diverse settings and
for diverse populations.
WHAT ARE THE NEXT STEPS?
CDC continues to build the capacity of local communities, especially racial
and ethnic communities, to prevent HIV. In particular, CDC will continue to
provide financial support and technical assistance to CBOs through programs
addressing populations at high-risk for HIV infection. CDC is currently
completing its evaluation of the MAI program to assess the impact of this
effort and guide future HIV prevention efforts in communities of color.