Ryan White and Native American HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

Ryan White and Native American HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

March 1, 2017

The number of HIV/AIDS cases among Native Americans is small but the impact is significant. The rate of AIDS among Native Americans and Alaska Natives, who represent just 1.7 percent of the U.S. population, is 30 times higher than among whites, as documented in this HRSA HIV/AIDS Bureau fact sheet.

According to 2015 HRSA client-level data, Ryan White clients have higher rates of retention in care (80.6 percent), and better viral suppression (83.4 percent), compared with national data. In contrast, Native Americans engaged in Ryan White care have a lower rate of retention in care (74.6 percent) and a roughly comparable rate of viral suppression (82.0 percent).

March 20 is National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

History of Care for Native Americans

American Indian/Alaska Native populations comprise less than 2 percent of individuals served by the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program. The Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program has a long history of targeting services to Native Americans and Alaska Natives as part of the program's focus on providing HIV/AIDS care to underserved populations. The first efforts began in the early 1990s through investigation of models of care under SPNS, Special Projects of National Significance. In 2004, HRSA's HIV/AIDS Bureau convened a series of Community Consultation Meetings to assess the impact of HIV/AIDS on various underserved populations. One session examined Access to HIV/AIDS Care Issues for Native Americans.

TA and Training Resources

Over time, several resources have been developed to address HIV/AIDS among Native American and Alaska Native populations. Some emerged from early SPNS work as well as from clinical programs that focused on cultural issues related to HIV/AIDS care among this diverse population. Highlights include:

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