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Impact of HIV/AIDS on the
Native Community

 

Unfortunately, HIV/AIDS continues to have a devastating effect on Native communities, and often resources and programs focus on communities of color other than Native communities. Based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2007 American Indian/Alaska Native fact sheet, these are some alarming statistics:

  • Despite having the smallest racial/ethnic population, American Indians and Alaska Natives have the third highest HIV/AIDS diagnosis rate (per 100,000 persons), following Blacks and Hispanics.
  • Native Hawaiians account for 8.6 percent of the population and 11 percent of the reported AIDS cases. Data for Native Hawaiians in the lower 48 states is included in the Asian/Pacific Islander category, so it is not possible to get quality information for Native Hawaiians living outside of Hawaii.
  • Of persons with an AIDS diagnosis during 1997 – 2004, American Indians and Alaska Natives had survived for a shorter time than Asians and Pacific Islanders, Whites, or Hispanics. After 9 years, 67 percent of American Indians and Alaska Natives were alive, compared with 66 percent of Blacks, 74 percent of Hispanics, 75 percent of Whites, and 81 percent of Asians and Pacific Islanders.
  • Poverty may directly and indirectly increase the risk for HIV infection. During 2002–2004, approximately one quarter (24.3 percent) of American Indians and Alaska Natives were living in poverty. That’s about twice the national average (12.4 percent).

While these statistics show a community at risk, we can still work together to create prevention and care programs that meet the cultural and practical needs of our Native populations. With your support, NNAAPC will continue to fight the destructive effects of HIV/AIDS in our Native communities, which are so lacking in resources and culturally relevant HIV prevention programs, services and materials.

We appreciate your commitment to HIV/AIDS and to the well-being our of community members who have been infected with or affected by HIV.

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