CAARAC’s service reach spans seven counties, including 4 black belt counties in Alabama. The counties served are Autauga, Dallas, Elmore, Lee, Lowndes, Macon, and Montgomery.
The Alabama Department of Public Health indicated that six of the aforementioned counties are located in their East Central Public Health District except for Dallas County, which is located in the Southwestern Public Health District. The Department further surmises that the East Central Public Health District has the highest cases of new HIV infections in the 3rd quarter according to preliminary reports.
According to the County Health Rankings and Roadmaps program, sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Alabama’s overall ranking for diabetes is 14%. The counties within CAARAC’s service areas teeter at or above the overall ranking with Macon (23%) being the 3rd highest in the state. High blood pressure continues to plague many Alabamians, especially those who are racial minorities in CAARAC’s service areas. Research suggests that this can be caused by stress-related to social and economic factors Racism and Hypertension: A Review of Empirical Evidence and Implications For Clinical Practice. Hence the need for CAARAC to address HIV and other health disparities as comorbidities while addressing the intersectionality of these conditions and social determinants of health.
What is HIV?
HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. HIV is the virus that causes AIDS. HIV attacks the immune system and can start making copies of itself once in the body. Once the amount of copies build up, it becomes harder for the immune system to fight the virus.
What is AIDS?
AIDS stands for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. This disease can only be diagnosed by a physician only when a patient is in the late stages of HIV infection and the body's immune system can no longer fight disease.
How is HIV Spread?
HIV is spread through a few different avenues: sexual intercourse with a person who is HIV positive, blood-to-blood contact, sharing needs, and a mother who is HIV positive passing it to her baby.
How can HIV be Prevented?
Preventing HIV can be done through postponing sexual contact until you have discussed sexual history with your partner. Other ways to prevent the virus include always using a latex condom properly and using clean needles.