Recognizing American Indian/Native American Heritage Month (November 2022)Posted November 2, 2022
Recognizing American Indian/Native American Heritage Month
November is American Indian/Native American Heritage Month. This November, Pacific AETC would like to acknowledge the over 150 indigenous tribes who are traditional stewards of the land that the Pacific region occupies in Arizona, California, Hawai’i, Nevada, and the US-Affiliated Pacific Islands. We are committed to the improvement and expansion of HIV testing, education, and treatment among indigenous populations and honor the longstanding history of those native to the land that we inhabit.
The number of HIV diagnoses in American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) people has increased over time. View the CDC’s latest data on HIV among AI/AN people and learn about the prevention challenges that some AI/AN people face.
In 2020, 190 American Indian/Alaska Natives were diagnosed with HIV.
Among Native communities, HIV impacts certain groups more than others – for example, Gay and Bisexual Men represented 82% of new HIV diagnoses among American Indian/Alaska Natives (AI/AN) men in 2020. In the same year, injection drug use accounted for 43% of new HIV diagnoses among AI/AN women. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, factors such as high rates of sexually transmitted diseases among AI/AN populations, alcohol and drug use, and cultural stigma result in disproportionate HIV rates among Native communities.
It is also important to recognize how social determinants of health can negatively impact HIV-related health outcomes for Native communities due to a lack of access to affordable health care and financial insecurity. For example:
- In 2019, 6.1% of the AI/AN population were unemployed, compared to 3.7% of the U.S. population.
- In the same year, 15% of the AI/AN population were uninsured, compared to 8% of the U.S. population.
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