“HIV is a disease state in which the overwhelming number of people with the disease are black—it’s not even a close call. As black doctors, we know to screen for hypertension, diabetes, cervical and prostate cancer because they happen disproportionately in our community. HIV has emerged as the leading cause of death among black women ages 25 to 44 and one of the top three causes of death for black men ages 25 to 54. We must encourage more patients to test for HIV—and get those who are ready, to start treatment. Throughout this special supplement to POZ, several other African-American HIV specialists and I share insights and ideas for HIV prevention, testing and treatment. As physicians, we’ve got lots on our plates. But a few key steps, taken individually, can have a vast impact in the fight against AIDS in the black community.
M. Keith Rawlings, MD medical director, Peabody Health center, Dallas, Texas president, Integrated Minority AIDS Network Inc. (IMANI)