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According to a leading HIV/AIDS charity AVERT.org, as of 2014, there are an estimated 1.1 million people living with the HIV virus in the United States, with over 16% of that population unaware of their condition. Due to these staggering numbers, the U.S is among the largest national funders towards the global HIV epidemic. With the global HIV epidemic showing no signs of decline, the situation of the infection within the country is unfortunately also quite bleak. With around 50,000 new infections per year reported by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the conditions and lifestyles of high-risk ethic and racial groups have now come under scrutiny.

The first coordinated nationwide AIDS education campaign was launched in 1988, when over a hundred million brochures titled “Understanding AIDS” were mailed to households. Today, the need for AIDS education is greater than ever before.

The Rising Need for Aids Education and Training

Educating people about HIV and AIDS is considered by many to be the most cost-effective way of preventing the disease. Many have dubbed education a “Social Vaccine” to counter the rise in the number of HIV-infected persons. If educated people remain infection-free, they could change the face of this epidemic.

Studies by the Global Campaign for Education have estimated that about seven million new cases of HIV could be prevented if there was effective education for all.

There are currently many organizations, government-run and otherwise, which have been working to provide education and training about HIV and AIDS. Some of the notable programs are the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program, National Minority Aids Education and Training Center (NMAETC) and the AIDS Education and Training Centers.

A vital role in the education and training for HIV and AIDS has come from the nurses that have specialized in AIDS care. There are a large number of nursing schools as well as nursing degrees online that help certified nurses specialize in the training, care and education of AIDS patients.

If you’ve wondered that how can you become a nurse who aids in the education and training regarding HIV and AIDS, then you should contact the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care (ANAC). This organization provides online nursing certification to promote comprehensive nursing care to AIDS patients.

Minorities and HIV/AIDS

In 2011, a research study done by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for estimating the number of people diagnosed with AIDS.

Race or Ethnicity Estimated Number of AIDS Diagnoses, 2011

American Indian

146

Asian

492

African American

15,958

Hispanic, Latino

6,355

Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander

47

White

8,304

Multiple Races

750

This research shows that over 47% of new AIDS diagnoses are to be found in the African American community. Many researchers have directly correlated this figure to the vulnerability of patients that is brought about by poverty and the lack of access to healthcare.

It is for this purpose that training centers are set up to help educate people from all walks of life. These training centers may be run by capable personnel that have done acquired MBA in nursing degrees. They have both the management expertise and technical nursing skills required for such a task.

A 2010 study by the U.S Department of Health and Human Services showed that it is not race or ethnicity that determines high rates of HIV infection. Rather, it is due to the conditions that surround most ethnicities, such as:

  • Poverty
  • Limited access to healthcare
  • High rates of substance abuse
  • High rate of incarceration
  • Tendency to pick racially similar partners

Many scholars and researchers now suggest that the answer to the rising HIV/AIDS numbers - especially in racial and ethnic minorities - lies in addressing the root of the problem. A move towards preventing high-risk HIV infections will be much more practical and cost-effective than treating the infection itself.

A 2000-2004 surveillance study carried by the Minority HIV/AIDS Research Initiative at the CDC revealed that regional HIV morbidity was highest in the south. While the African American and Latino minority only make up 31% of the population in the south, the majority of the infected also comprised them.

According to the CDC, the difference in the availability of medical treatments for Caucasians and African Americans are the most critical factor of the difference in morbidity rates. Despite many HIV/AIDS controlling antiretroviral A.R.T therapy programs, African Americans and Latinos do not have easy access to these treatment options. By some chance, even if some minorities can get access to clinical trials, they are less likely to be able to afford the supplementary medication which is not paid for by the trial due to their lack of financial security.

Reducing the Health Gap in HIV/AIDS

The government has made access to healthcare relatively easier and more funding is now available for healthcare programs. Therefore, the next most important step would be to train and educate the population regarding the spread, symptoms and prevention of AIDS.

AIDS education and training centers can make the biggest impact towards leading this targeted awareness campaign for minorities. By teaching racial and ethnic minorities about safe-sex practices, avoidance of substance-abuse and the importance of healthcare, the AIDS education and training centers help reduce the number of people at risk from HIV.

A research published in the Journal of National Medical Health suggests a model of public health which fosters the development of nurses, clinicians and researchers of color who can be trained through online schools for nursing and medicine. These medical professionals can then be tasked to serve the communities that will respond best to their guidance.

Sources:

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