AIDS Is an Epidemic in the Black Community: How to Get African-American Scientists Involved in Finding a Solution

African Americans are 13 percent of the U.S. population but they make up nearly half of all new cases of HIV/AIDS reported in this country. At the same time, there are very few African Americans involved in AIDS-related research.

Scientists at the Center for Culture, Trauma, and Mental Health Disparities at the University of California at Los Angeles have recently published an article in the American Journal of Public Health outlining why there is a shortage of blacks involved in AIDS-related research and offering recommendations for rectifying the situation.

The authors recommend that universities and government entities involved in AIDS research form partnerships with science departments at historically black colleges and universities. They also urge the government to establish a program to retrain black scientists who want to become involved in AIDS research. They recommend that cash awards programs be set up as an incentive for black scientists to pursue research in the field.