HIV awareness and consistent, widespread access to stigma-free HIV testing is especially important in our communities, because as many as 34% of the American Indian and Alaska Native people living with HIV infection do not know it. People who don’t know that they are living with HIV don’t seek the medical care available to support them in living a healthy, full life. In contrast, people who know that they’re HIV positive can protect their health and take action to prevent spreading the virus to others.
The IHS National HIV/AIDS Program is committed to partnering with communities to create lasting change in the HIV/AIDS epidemic. We provide programs to assist individuals, families, communities, and health care providers to:
- Understand how HIV is spread, and share knowledge about HIV with others
- Get tested for HIV
- Put policies and procedures in place to offer a HIV testing as a routine part of all health care
- Improve access to care, treatment, and prevention services needed by people living with HIV and AIDS
IHS providers throughout the country are offering screening more often, collaborating with communities to increase education, and offering care or referrals where direct care is not available. Everyone can all help to reduce the stigma within the culture and among health care providers regarding HIV/AIDS.
The IHS HIV/AIDS Program serves as the national comprehensive resource within IHS, and aims to include all service delivery systems, both internal and external, including IHS, Tribal and Urban facilities. Program goals include input from community members, organizations, people living with HIV/AIDS, providers, federal agencies, healthcare workers and tribal and urban representation.
Population: American Indian or Alaska Native.
Links to resources:
- Learn more about the IHS National HIV/AIDS Program at the IndianHealthServices.gov.
- View the “HIV Among American Indians and Alaska Natives” fact sheet.
- Learn more about the Indian Health Services.
- Check out the online resource library on HIV/AIDS.