African American population of the United States currently experiences a steady decline. Along with other relevant social issues, health care challenges that the Black population of the U.S.A. faces also place a significant burden on the people of this ethnicity. One of the most dangerous current problems is the prevalence of HIV/AIDS in African Americans. Although it may seem that this issue is relevant for every ethnicity residing on the territory of the country, Black people are the ones that are primarily hindered by this condition.
In 2015, almost twenty thousand African American people were given a diagnosis of HIV in the United States. This included thirteen thousand men and nearly five thousand women (“HIV among African Americans,” 2017). In that year, almost half of the people that were diagnosed with HIV on the territory of the U.S. were of African American descent. Compared to the white majority, African Americans have almost seven times more chances to be diagnosed with HIV. After being diagnosed, African American population experiences an average survival rate of three years which is significantly lower than that of other ethnicities. Currently, AIDS is the leading death cause in African American people, and young women are experiencing a much higher morbidity rate (“How HIV and AIDS affect African-Americans, and why,” 2017).
After learning about this alarming statistic, one might ask – how is it possible to overcome this challenge? The answer lies in different spheres of public and government activity. For example, in 2012, the mortality rate related to AIDS in African Americans decreased from 28.4 persons out of one thousand to 20.5 persons. This occurred after interventions were implemented on a national level. Although this is considered to be a significant improvement, the morbidity rate is still significantly higher than that of other ethnicities (especially White Americans). Thus, this ethnic minority is in need of help.
It is necessary to provide African American minorities with equitable health care in communities that mostly consist of Blacks. As this minority was oppressed and deprived of medical attention and services in the past, it is now in the government’s authority to help them recover from the damage done by HIV and AIDS. According to The Association of Nurses in AIDS Care supported by the American Nurses Association’s position statement, HIV/AIDS must be addressed as a health disparity that has a significant impact on various minorities. Specialized HIV treatment, as well as equitable health care, is a privilege that every ethnicity in general and each community member must-have regardless of their descent or preferences. Related communities must be paid special attention to as groups of increased risks and provided with adequate care, supplies, and proper education to prevent HIV/AIDS issue from growing and, ideally, eliminate it altogether.
It is possible and necessary for nurses to advocate for providing both support and equitable health care to African American ethnic and racial minorities. If this simple action is not taken, HIV/AIDS may continue increasing the morbidity rate and become a much more recognized threat to the whole nation of the U.S. Moreover, not only advocacy and support are required. Health care specialists must conduct further in-depth researches to develop innovative approaches that would allow treating HIV/AIDS and prevent them. Although both of these goals are far from being achieved, combined efforts almost guarantee that it would not take long to overcome this challenge.