The changing face of HIV/AIDS among Native populations.
AIDS has steadily increased in recent years, becoming the ninth leading killer of Native people between the ages of 15 and 44. In 2003, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that ethnic minorities account for more than 71% of all reported AIDS cases and that there are still increases in AIDS cases in the American Indian population. Despite the work that has been done related to HIV/AIDS, there remain some major challenges in the prevention of HIV/AIDS in Native communities. Yet, there are changes on the horizon and these changes bring hope to Native communities in the ongoing battle to decrease HIV and AIDS. This article details information about the biological, social, economic and behavioral cofactors related to the rise in HIV/AIDS in Native communities and follows with issues related to special populations and consideration of the unique needs of prevention in these subpopulations. The need for norming of HIV testing is discussed as is the need for Native-specific programs and interventions. Finally, changes in the recognition of the culturally specific needs of Native people are noted and new resources are presented.