HIV/AIDS Minority Task Force to Study Routine Screening Bill
The Arkansas House Committee on Public Health, Welfare and Labor and the Senate Committee on Public Health, Welfare and Labor of Representatives has requested a study to examine ways to reduce the number of new cases of HIV in Arkansas. The contact for this study is Britni Mitchell, AMHC HIV Outreach Initiatives Project Manager. Her phone number is (501) 663-4966. The purpose of this study is to understand the barriers to routine HIV testing at health facilities throughout Arkansas.
The Arkansas Minority HIV Task Force and Arkansas Minority Health Commission have put together a survey as a part of this study. If you participate in this survey, questions will be asked about preferences regarding your HIV testing. It should take about 3 minutes to complete the questions. There are no risks expected from participation in this study. You are free to skip any of the questions, and to end your participation at any time. It is hoped that the information gained by this study will help describe the issues that may prevent people from receiving an HIV test at their health care facility.
Arkansas HIV/AIDS Minority Task Force
Act 842 of 2007
House Bill 2615, sponsored by State Representative Willie Hardy, now Act 842 of 2007, created the Arkansas HIV/AIDS Minority Task Force. On January 9, 2008, Governor Mike Beebe appointed seventeen individuals from across the state of Arkansas, all actively involved in the fight against the spread of HIV/AIDS, to serve on the Task Force.
The Task Force, which holds monthly meetings, held its first meeting on March 10, 2008. During the months that followed, the Task Force heard presentations from a broad cross-section of individuals on the HIV/AIDS pandemic that has increasingly concentrated communities of color. The Task Force worked with five subcommittees to address the issues related to the continued rise of this dreaded disease and, conducted a series of public forums in all four (4) Congressional Districts collecting data, recommendations and comments from minority populations infected and affected by HIV/AIDS.
This Task Force’s Final Report is timely in that it is being submitted three months after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed startling new evidence regarding the HIV/AIDS pandemic in America. In August 2008, the CDC released information that there were over 56,000 new HIV infections in the United States in 2006. That number, based on new surveillance methods, was 40% higher than prior estimates. Women, African Americans and Hispanics continue to experience a disproportionate burden of this infection.
Since 1983, over 7,000 Arkansans have been diagnosed with HIV, 352 in 2007 alone. Arkansas has kept the pace with the national trend of HIV/AIDS and its ever increasing spread in minority communities. For example, the population of Arkansas is approximately 16% African American; however, 38% (AIDS) and 41% (HIV) of the total cumulative cases from 1989-2006 are African American
Act 842 of 2007 required specific recommendations for the Task Force to address. Within each of these required recommendations, the report provides and details additional recommendations, approaches, rationales and solutions for each.
|Member of the HIV/AIDS Taskforce:|
Term Limit Expires
|Rick Collins (Chairman)||
|Arkansas Department of Health|
|AR Community Planning Group|
|Lupita Roy-Rasheed (Co-Chair)||
|Faith Based Organization|
|Dept. Of Health/HIV Division|
|Dr. Wallace "Al" Thomas||
|Medical Insurance Industry|
|Arkansas Minority Health Commission|
|Arkansas Minority Health Commission Technical/Administrative Support - Britni Mitchell, HIV Project Manager|