Utah groups to assess HIV prevalence among Native Americans
Two groups in Utah have received a $330,000 grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to assess HIV prevalence among the state's Native American population, the Salt Lake Tribune reports. The grant was awarded to the Harm Reduction Project and the Indian Walk-In Center in Salt Lake City. Both groups will offer free HIV antibody tests to Native Americans in the region and to anyone coming to the offices seeking harm reduction or health services. They hope to screen at least 2,000 Native Americans for HIV infection. According to the state health department, there are 36 reported HIV cases among the state's 30,000 Native Americans and Alaskan Natives. But some AIDS officials say the number is likely significantly higher, and the two groups hope to provide a more accurate picture of HIV's spread among native populations. The groups also will provide culturally appropriate HIV prevention information to all agency clients in the effort to boost safer sex and cut needle sharing among Native Americans who are at risk for HIV infection.