Daily HIV/AIDS Report
Public Health &
Education | At Conference, NIAID Director Discusses Early HIV
Detection, Transmission Rates Among African Americans
Providing treatment to HIV-positive pregnant women early in their pregnancies can "dramatically reduce" the risk of vertical HIV transmission, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci said Saturday at a Washington, D.C., conference sponsored by Howard University and a drug company, the AP/Augusta Chronicle reports (AP/Augusta Chronicle, 2/9). The conference was attended by pastors, church activists, educators and others in an effort to get black religious organizations more involved in HIV prevention (Goldstein, Washington Post, 2/10). Fauci said that early detection and treatment among pregnant women can cut the rate of vertical transmission to "less than 1%." He also spoke about the "changing nature" of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the United States, noting that a disproportionate number of HIV infections are occurring among blacks. Fauci said that black Americans have been infected with HIV at a rate that is 10 times higher than the rates among other ethnic groups (AP/Augusta Chronicle, 2/9). He said that while the black community has shown signs in recent years of "getting mobilized and shining a bright light on the problem," he urged the audience to "turn on the afterburners, because the leadership is going to have come from you."
Urged to Overcome Stigma