Big Money, Few Results
Illinois has spent millions to fight HIV and AIDS, but African Americans still struggle to receive needed treatment.
African Americans constitute about 15 percent of Illinois’ population, but more than 50 percent of people living with the virus, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health, which provided The Chicago Reporter with data from 2003 to 2007, the latest five years for which statistics are available.
Among black people, men who have sex with men represent the largest percentage of new diagnoses—and a growing share of diagnoses for which risk factors are known from 2003 to 2007.
Meanwhile, the amount of prevention dollars in 2007 for African Americans represented only 30 percent of all prevention monies spent by the state—a significant drop from the 46 percent of all state prevention dollars used for black people in 2002.
* The share of all prevention dollars spent in 2007 for the largest risk group—men who have sex with men—was lower than its share among diagnoses that year.
“The current HIV epidemic amongst African-American [men who have sex with men] is at an all-time high and should be considered a state of emergency in Illinois,” Lawary said. “The situation must be rectified … for those most ignored and impacted by the burden of this dreadful disease.”
Read the full Chicago Reporter article.
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