Providing HIV consultation, education and mentoring to healthcare professionals
The Howard University HBCU-HIV/HCV Prevention Program (H3P)
More About the Howard University HBCU-HIV/HCV Prevention Program (H3P)
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported that new hepatitis C (HCV) infections in the US tripled over the 5 year period of 2010-2015. Soaring HCV rates appears to be partly driven by an epidemic of prescription painkiller abuse.
Young adults between the age 18 to 25 years abuse prescription opioid pain relievers, ADHD stimulants, and anti-anxiety drugs. Further, although tattoos are a known risk factor for acquiring Hepatitis C, many fail to consider body piercing as having an equal potential for viral transmission. HCV infection is often prevalent among populations infected with HIV. Data reveals that about one-third of Americans infected with HIV is co-infected with HCV. In fact, chronic HCV infection is now the leading cause of death, after AIDS-related complications, among HIV-infected individuals in areas where highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) is available.
The CDC further notes that “The greater number of people living with HIV (prevalence) in African American communities and the fact that African Americans tend to have sex with partners of the same race/ethnicity mean that African Americans face a greater risk of HIV infection with each new sexual encounter. Stigma, fear, discrimination, homophobia, and negative perceptions about HIV testing may also place many African Americans at higher risk and discourage testing.”
These statements are particularly relevant to the tight social networks that characterize HBCU campuses where students are predominantly African American. Addressing HIV and HCV in youth requires that we give young people the information and tools they need to reduce their risk, make healthy decisions, and get treatment and care as warranted. H3P will be partnering with Bowie State University, Jackson State University, Morgan State University, Savannah State University, Texas Southern University
Thus; we anticipate that with its focus on improving HIV and HCV counseling, testing, care and treatment services, a significant reduction of HIV and HCV on the campuses of the participating HBCUs will be evidenced.
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