, Volume 84, Issue 5, pp 648-652
Date: 17 Jul 2007

When “Heightened” Means “Lessened”: The Case of HIV Prevention Resources in the United States

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The HIV/AIDS epidemic continues to be a major public health concern in the United States. There is a very heavy impact of HIV/AIDS in urban communities; metropolitan statistical areas with populations over 1/2 million account for 84.6% of cumulative AIDS cases through 2005.1 There are also glaring racial/ethnic health disparities in the epidemic. In 33 states that tracked HIV/AIDS diagnoses via named reporting from 2001 to 2005, African Americans accounted for 13% of the population and 50.5% of the new HIV/AIDS diagnoses.2 The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has just issued a report entitled, “A Heightened National Response to the HIV/AID Crisis Among African Americans.”3 That report outlines a number of important steps in attempting to address these health disparities. The purpose of this commentary is not to critique the action steps outlined in the report, but rather to focus on the resources available to conduct this “heightened response” campaign.

In one brief parag ...