Members from a national coalition of 30 American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian HIV/AIDS organizations met with federal health agencies in Washington, DC, Native OUT reports. The meeting highlighted the need to include Native people in national HIV/AIDS funding, programs and services.

“American Indians, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians who are diagnosed with AIDS die sooner after their diagnosis than members of any other ethnic or racial group,” said Anthony S. Fauci, MD, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

According to the article, a new position of director of HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment has been created at the Indian Health Service to address concerns such as a lack of standardized data collection and representation, Native models for HIV prevention, the integration of traditional medicine practices and the inclusion of two-spirit people.

The Office of Minority Health Resource Center facilitated the meeting. In attendance were representatives from the Indian Health Service, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health, the Health Resources and Services Administration and the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors.

After the May 4 meeting, coalition members also met with representatives from the White House Office of National AIDS Policy.