WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman G. K. Butterfield (NC-01) today applauded the awarding of a $1,897,500 grant to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) from the Center of Disease Control (CDC) to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS in minority communities. The three year grant, funded by the Care and Prevention in the United States (CAPUS) program under the Secretary’s Minority AIDS Initiative, will address the social, economic, clinical and cultural barriers to HIV testing and care in minority communities, which are disproportionately affected by HIV.
“It is no secret that HIV/AIDS affects African Americans and Latinos in record numbers,” said Congressman Butterfield. “However, what may elude many is why. Minority communities have significant barriers to prevention, detection and treatment of HIV/AIDS due to long-held stigmas and social economic issues, such as poverty and homophobia. I applaud the CDC for continuing to tackle the roadblocks that prevent too many from accessing the testing and care they need.”
African Americans and Latinos communities are infected with HIV at rates eight and three times higher than their white counterparts, respectively. Blacks and Latinos infected by the disease are less likely to be diagnosed, and if diagnosed, they are less likely to receive ongoing treatment. Studies have shown that early diagnosis and continued treatment of HIV/AIDS help to reduce the spread of the disease.
North Carolina is one of eight states awarded funding due to a high burden of HIV among minority communities and increased prevalence of health disparities. The other grant recipients are Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Virginia, and Tennessee.
These funds were issued to further the goal of achieving an AIDS-Free Generation.