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HIV/AIDS Awareness Days


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NAHI Report Released
NAHI Summit Report [PDF | 3.32MB]
 
 

National African HIV/AIDS Initiative (NAHI)

The growth of African immigrant populations in the United States has challenged public health professionals, providers and communities alike because of their particular health issues and the diversity of these communities.

According to figures from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the number of African immigrants to the United States more than quadrupled in the last two decades, from 109,733 between 1961 and 1980 to 531,832 between 1981 and 2000.

Many providers do not distinguish between Africans and African Americans, which does not take into account different cultural backgrounds and different perceptions of wellness, disease and medical needs. For instance, even when having insurance coverage, African patients tend to access the healthcare system late, limiting the treatment options and the likelihood of positive outcomes.

On the other hand, public health messages that are not culturally appropriate and do not take into consideration the differences between African immigrants and African Americans create more barriers than they hope to remove.

In 2007, several community and faith-based organizations serving African immigrants and refugees in several states, in collaboration with the Office of Minority Health, organized themselves around one of the issues of great concern: the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

The result of that collaboration is the National African HIV/AIDS Initiative (NAHI). NAHI is a grassroots partnership effort supported by the Office of Minority Health Resource Center (OMHRC) which includes organizations such as the African Services Committee in New York, Prevention Effectiveness Consortium on Health and Education from Atlanta, Ga., and Africans for Improved Access in Jamaica Plain, Mass. Its primary mission is to improve the health outcomes among African refugees and immigrants living in the United States.

By working together the organizations that comprise NAHI along with OMHRC plan to enhance the culture of HIV/AIDS prevention, education and care through culturally competent advocacy, education and research. The focus is to inform all stakeholders of the escalating HIV/AIDS rates in the African refugee and immigrant communities, and begin a discussion on ways to combat the epidemic.

In 2008 NAHI held summits in four cities:

Atlanta - GA, Boston - MA, Seattle - WA, and the Washington - D.C area. Reports from these summits are now available. NAHI Summit Report [PDF | 3.32MB]

The goals of these summits were to:

  • Educate stake-holders about the effects of HIV/AIDS in the community.
  • Disseminate information on the HIV/AIDS infection rates among African immigrants in the United States.
  • Build networks among stake-holders to address the public health issue of HIV/AIDS in the African community.

At these summits, panelists presented the objectives of NAHI and worked in small groups to identify regional challenges and enhance networking opportunities.

For more information, please call Margaret Korto at 1-800-444-6472 ext 232, or email mkorto@minorityhealth.hhs.gov.

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Last Modified: 04/07/2010 08:39:00 AM
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