Tag Archives: Poverty

Raise awareness of HIV and Poverty in your area


Remember this article where we mentioned that thousands of people with HIV have been left struggling in poverty by the Government’s welfare reforms?  (Some people can’t even afford basic food which is need to take with HIV medicines).

In that, we shared the Terrence Higgins Trust report on HIV and Poverty, it’s worth a read, click here for your copy of the report.  It’s based on evidence gathered from the THT’s Hardship Fund and The Food Chain.

The factors that push people into poverty are varied and complex. Having HIV can contribute to a deteriorating financial situation. In turn financial hardship can lead to more significant health problems for those living with HIV.

Local councils, including Leicester City and Leicestershire County councils have a responsibility for the health and wellbeing of the people in their community. It is vital that they know about the needs of people living with HIV in our area so that they can factor them into their strategies for health and support.  They need our support, otherwise how can they plan their budgets effectively if we don’t inform them of the issues we face locally?

You can help raise awareness by emailing your Cabinet Member for Health to tell them about the HIV and Poverty Report and ask them whether the needs of people living with HIV are a part of their planned health and support services.

The Terrence Higgins Trust have created a simple email which you can send to your Cabinet Member for Health. Simply complete your details an email will be generated which you can customise before sending.

So before you click away and read another post, or share this to your networks.. ask yourself, “What can I do“? – You can click here and email your local Cabinet Member for Health! We encourage you do so.


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Heterosexual HIV/AIDS Prevalent In Low Income Areas More Than Rich

The review of a major national population HIV study has found that the HIV infection rate among low-income heterosexuals in 24 American cities with a high prevalence of AIDS is 10 to 20 times greater than in the general U.S. population.

The link between high HIV rates and low socio-economic status couldn’t be attributed to factors typically associated with HIV infection risk in heterosexuals such as crack cocaine use, being diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease, or having an exchange sex partner.

While major racial disparities are a feature of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the United States, the researchers found no racial/ethnic-related differences in HIV infection rates among low-income heterosexuals in cities either.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention surveys persons in selected metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs), using the National HIV Behavioral Surveillance System (NHBS). This report summarizes data collected from heterosexuals in 24 MSAs with a high prevalence of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) that participated in NHBS during 2006 and 2007.

NHBS is an annual cross-sectional survey of three populations at high risk for HIV infection: men who have sex with men (MSM), injection-drug users (IDUs), and heterosexuals at increased risk for HIV infection. Data are collected in annual cycles from one risk group per year, with each population surveyed once every 3 years.

Twenty-five MSAs with high AIDS prevalence were selected for the survey. In each MSA, NHBS project staff members recruited participants using either respondent-driven sampling (15 MSAs) or venue-based sampling (10 MSAs).

Recruitment efforts targeted residents of census tracts with high rates of poverty and HIV diagnoses, referred to as high-risk areas. For respondent-driven sampling, a small number of initial participants were recruited by project staff members or referred by community-based organizations. Initial and subsequent participants who lived in high-risk areas were then asked to recruit up to five other persons using a coded coupon to track their referrals. Recruitment continued for multiple waves of peer referral.

In summary, of 14,837 heterosexuals aged 18 to 50 years who were interviewed and tested, 2% were HIV infected. HIV prevalence was higher among those with lower socioeconomic status (SES). For example, HIV prevalence was 2.8% among participants with less than a high school education compared with 1.2% among those with more than a high school education, 2.6% among participants who were unemployed compared with 1.0% among those who were employed, and 2.3% among participants with annual household incomes at or below the poverty level compared with 1% among those with incomes above the poverty level.

As mentioned above, this association between HIV prevalence and SES could not be attributed to factors commonly associated with HIV infection risk in heterosexuals, such as using crack cocaine, exchanging sex for things such as money or drugs, or being diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease (STD). Based on the association observed between HIV prevalence and SES, HIV prevention activities targeted at heterosexuals in urban areas with high AIDS prevalence should be focused on those with lower SES.

Based on their findings, the CDC authors recommended that HIV prevention programs aimed at heterosexuals should focus on those in low-income areas.

Original article written by Sy Kraft on 12 August 2011 for Medical News Today.

Article Reference:
“Characteristics Associated with HIV Infection Among Heterosexuals in Urban Areas with High AIDS Prevalence — 24 Cities, United States, 2006–2007” The U.S. Centers For Disease Control and Prevention

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