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Monday, June 17
The Indiana Daily Student

opinion editorial

EDITORIAL: The hidden factors behind HIV

Researchers are still fighting the spread of HIV decades after it first emerged in the United States.

Now, there is a greater urgency to combat the virus. A report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in February says that one in two African American men who have sex with men will be diagnosed with HIV within their lifetime.

Researchers must do more to address the specific needs and conditions facing the African American community that leads to greater HIV rates than the rest of the population.

According to the CDC, men who have sex with men are more likely to get HIV compared to men who 
do not.

Significant disparities exist between racial lines.

One out of four Latino men who have sex with men, for example, will be diagnosed with HIV, compared to one out of eleven white men who have sex with men.

Some of the factors that contribute to a much higher HIV transmission rate within the African American community of men who have sex with men must be addressed by researchers if they want to combat the spread of 
the virus.

Several factors impact this community and inhibit efforts to stop HIV in its tracks.

One of these factors, according to the CDC, is the fact that African Americans are more likely to experience lower socioeconomic factors than other racial groups.

A lower socioeconomic class drastically affects access to several resources in a person’s life.

Among these resources are access to quality and affordable health care, which is a critical area to address the importance of health and treatment for HIV.

Another reason access to health care is important is because health care providers can provide patients with information about pre-exposure prophylaxis, known as PrEP, which is a drug patients can take every day that significantly reduces their chances of contracting HIV.

Researchers must also address stigma, homophobia and discrimination if they want to reduce HIV rates, according to the CDC.

These factors can impact whether individuals seek out health care services for HIV to begin with and must also be addressed to combat HIV.

Researchers have to take these issues into account when they are working to reduce HIV rates within the population of men who have sex with men in the African-American community.

It’s disappointing that after the first cases of AIDS were reported in the U.S. in the 1980s, it continues to be a major problem within communities today.

But by addressing these factors in their work, researchers can work towards preventing its spread as much as they possibly can.

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