The Centers for Disease Control found that minorities now account for more than half of all the HIV cases in the United States. For African Americans, the rate was more than 5 times as high as that for whites. Further, the disease has equally affected women and children in the African American community; 84% of the AIDS cases involving children age 12 and under can be found in the African American community. AIDS has now become the second leading cause of death for African American women. This essay describes a research project focusing on the factors involved in developing and implementing AIDS programs in three different agencies and cities aimed at prevention and education. The project, Programmatic Responses to the AIDS Epidemic by Communities of Color in Massachusetts (PRAECC) offered planning assistance that might be utilized to enhance the overall delivery of AIDS-related services. The concept for this research project arose from a number of concerns: 1) my practical experience as a social worker in the federal government; 2) the increasing publicity around minority community HIV drug users' high risk behavior; and, 3) the alarming national statistics regarding the high prevalence rate of AIDS among African American communities. (This case study concerns itself with thematic issues rather than medical/research questions of cure and treatment.)


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