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Letter: Natives overlooked on World AIDS Day

"Today is World AIDS Day. This year's theme is "Keep the Promise," a United Nations appeal to world governments and policymakers to stem the infection of HIV and increase the quality of life for those living with AIDS.

In the United States, the federal Ryan White CARE Act assists people with HIV/AIDS who don't have private health insurance, don't qualify for Medicaid and are unable to afford the cost of their care. Yet the CARE Act excludes the Indian Health Service from any direct HIV/AIDS treatment funding.

Twenty years into this epidemic, most tribal people living on reservations have no access to HIV care. Here in Minnesota, home to more than 70,000 Native people, there are just two programs that provide any kind of HIV/AIDS services to Native American people. One is the Indigenous People's Task Force, which provides intervention services, risk reduction education, social support groups and healthy living cultural teaching specific to Native American populations."

Get the Story:
Sharon M. Day: An overlooked community in the HIV fight (The Minneapolis Star Tribune 12/1)

Relevant Links:
National Native American AIDS Prevention Center - http://www.nnaapc.org
National HIV Prevention Conference - http://www.2005hivprevconf.org

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