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Obama Urged to Help Black Women

Obama Urged to Help Black Women

African-American women in leadership positions in business, academia, media, and other fields gathered in November at a conference in Washington to discuss how the National AIDS Strategy could best address the specific needs of black women.

AIDS is the leading cause of death for African-American women ages 25 to 34, but these women are "rarely focused on as a group," according to the coalition, which was organized by the National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS.

African-Americans "remain notably absent from public policy and resource-allocation decisions affecting communities of African descent nationwide," says C. Virginia Fields, NBLCA's president.

The women made NAS policy recommendations that fell under three broad themes: reducing HIV incidence, expanding access to care, and reducing HIV-related health disparities. Their suggestions were:

>Create a surveillance system that includes social determinants relating to HIV incidence.

>Integrate efforts addressing domestic violence, substance abuse and mental health.

>Create a clear marketing plan so African-American women see themselves in the AIDS epidemic.

>Develop and support public campaigns that encourage women's participation in service programs.

>Provide mobile health care services for underserved communities.

>Encourage "cross-fertilization" among federal offices that address the same populations, and encourage those programs to solicit input from African-American women.

>Conform resource allocation to the epidemic's realities, including by offering HIV testing in nontraditional settings.

>Develop programs to address issues including stigma, addiction and gender identity.

30 Years of Out100Out / Advocate Magazine - Jonathan Groff and Wayne Brady

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