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Proposed Legislation to Address HIV in Minority Communities

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JAMA

Rep Charles Rangel (D, NY) has introduced a bill, supported by the National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS, that would make organizational grants available to community and religious groups to facilitate education, outreach, research, testing, and counseling services aimed at reducing the incidence of HIV/AIDS in minority communities. The bill is called the CURE (Communities United with Religious Leaders for the Elimination of HIV/AIDS) Act of 2015 (http://1.usa.gov/1NLb2Um).

“As a Congressman representing diverse communities that are disproportionately affected, I support efforts to end HIV/AIDS disparities to improve their health and overall well-being,” said Rangel in a press release (http://1.usa.gov/1JwiAE5).

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2010, black individuals had an HIV infection rate 8 times that of white individuals, with gay and bisexual men accounting for most new infections in that population.

The CDC also notes that socioeconomic issues, including lack of access to health care, lack of awareness of HIV status, and fear of stigma and discrimination, are all issues facing the African American community that complicate HIV prevention efforts (http://1.usa.gov/1U0iM5v).

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