HIV and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) in American Indian and Alaska Native Communities

American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/AN) face significance health disparities in rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) including HIV. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported in 2014 that gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis rates for AI/AN in comparison to Whites was 4.2, 3.7, and 1.6 times higher respectively. HIV rates are also a major concern among AI/AN nationwide. From 2005 to 2014, the CDC reported a 63% increase in HIV rates among gay and bisexual AI/AN men alone, while the overall HIV rate for all AI/AN increased by 19% during the same time period. In the same report, the CDC also stated that the undiagnosed rate for AI/AN living with HIV hovers around 18%, while the national undiagnosed rate is at 13%.

Although direct HIV and STI funding to Tribal communities remains under what is needed, resources are available that provide tools, guides and linkage to care opportunities.

Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

The CDC houses plenty of resources outlining risk reduction strategies, fact sheets, screening recommendations and national statistics on STI and HIV rates, some of which are specific to the AI/AN community.

Indian Health Service (IHS)

The Office of HIV/AIDS at IHS has plenty of resources, toolkits and online trainings for AI/AN searching for more information on Tribally specific STI and HIV rates. IHS also has a brand new page devoted specifically to LGBTQ and Two Spirit health issues!

National Native American AIDS Prevention Center (NNAAPC)

NNAAPC was founded in 1987 to advocate at the national, state, and Tribal levels for funding and proactive policies that prevented HIV in Native communities. NNAAPC also has abundant resources specific to curbing Hepatitis C rates in Tribal communities.

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

The VA has information for Native Veterans specific to HIV/AIDS and STIs. These resources include links to Native-specific HIV organizations and programs, and also various publications both for health providers and Veterans.

Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board (NPAIHB)

NPAIHB serves the forty-three federally recognized Tribes of the states of Oregon, Washington and Idaho and has several projects specific to HIV and STI rates in Tribal communities. They have also created a toolkit outlining Tribally-based best practices for reducing rates in AI/AN communities, including plenty of youth-based programs and resources.


 

Behavioral Health Inquiries:

Carolyn Angus-Hornbuckle, JD
Director of Public Health Policy and Programs

National Indian Health Board
910 Pennsylvania Ave, SE
Phone: 202-507-4089
Washington, DC 20003
[email protected]

 

 

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