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Am Psychol. 2013 May-Jun;68(4):237-46. doi: 10.1037/a0032711.

Opportunities for HIV combination prevention to reduce racial and ethnic health disparities.

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  • 1Division of AIDS Research, National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, MD, USA.

Abstract

Despite advances in HIV prevention and care, African Americans and Latino Americans remain at much higher risk of acquiring HIV, are more likely to be unaware of their HIV-positive status, are less likely to be linked to and retained in care, and are less likely to have suppressed viral load than are Whites. The first National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS) has reducing these disparities as one of its three goals by encouraging the implementation of combination high-impact HIV intervention strategies. Federal agencies have expanded their collaborations in order to decrease HIV-related disparities through better implementation of data-driven decision making; integration and consolidation of the continuum of HIV care; and the reorganization of relationships among public health agencies, researchers, community-based organizations, and HIV advocates. Combination prevention, the integration of evidence-based and impactful behavioral, biomedical, and structural intervention strategies to reduce HIV incidence, provides the tools to address the HIV epidemic. Unfortunately, health disparities exist at every step along the HIV testing-to-care continuum. This provides an opportunity and a challenge to everyone involved in HIV prevention and care to understand and address health disparities as an integral part of ending the HIV epidemic in the United States. To further reduce health disparities, successful implementation of NHAS and combination prevention strategies will require multidisciplinary teams, including psychologists with diverse cultural backgrounds and experiences, to successfully engage groups at highest risk for HIV and those already infected with HIV. In order to utilize the comprehensive care continuum, psychologists and behavioral scientists have a role to play in reconceptualizing the continuum of care, conducting research to address health disparities, and creating community mobilization strategies.

PMID:
23688091
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3947902
Free PMC Article
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