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Group to Discuss Reducing STD, HIV Infections

Friday, September 05, 2003

A discussion about the development of effective strategies and intervientions that may ultimately reduce STD and HIV transmission rates will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday at the Clarion Riverside Hotel, formerly the Four Points Sheraton.

This collaboration is presented by Black Men Latino Men Health Crisis Inc. and Men of Color Health Awareness Project Inc., in conjunction with the HIV Vaccine Trials Unit at the University of Rochester Medical Center, Helping People with AIDS Inc., New York State Department of Health-AIDS Institute and the Department of Health and Human Services-HIV/AIDS Resource Network.

The initiative is designed to engage heterosexual men of color in the Rochester region. Discussions will be geared to the development of effective strategies and interventions that may ultimately reduce STD and HIV transmission rates among communities of color.

The objectives for this discussion group are:

  • To identify barriers that impact heterosexual men of color accessing HIV and STD prevention services, including HIV antibody testing
  • To develop a needs-assessment within the target population and set the stage for future intervention, with emphasis on education and new testing technologies, including “rapid testing”
  • To develop a better understanding of the “down-low” population and its prevention, testing and treatment needs

The increasing rate of heterosexual transmission is a major concern locally, statewide and nationally. The lack of appropriate outreach and prevention services was recognized as a significant gap during the 2001 New York State HIV Prevention Planning Group-Planning Cycle for the CDC Supplemental funding session. The Ryan White Care Network (RATFA) also identified this gap locally, during its 2001 Emerging Communities Priority session.

Preliminary data of new HIV cases diagnosed in Monroe County between June 1, 2000, and Aug. 31, 2002, identified that African Americans accounted for 50 percent and Latinos another 10 percent of those new cases. Within the cases among African Americans, females accounted for more than 60 percent. In addition, that data identified that more than 49 percent of female and 25 percent of male cases are categorized as “no identifiable risk,” but are probably heterosexually acquired.

Media Contact

Karin Christensen

(585) 275-1311

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