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Researchers to begin study aimed at helping Latino HIV patients
Date:8/8/2008

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C.Researchers at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center will soon begin researching how a lack of trust in formal medicine is contributing to disproportionately higher mortality rates in Latino HIV patients than in white HIV patients across the country.

The study, "Trust and Mistrust of Evidence-Based Medicine Among Latinos with HIV," will be funded by the Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR) and is expected to begin this month.

"AmfAR is a prestigious organization to get funding from if you do HIV research, so it's a big testament to the work we're doing," said Scott D. Rhodes, Ph.D., MPH, lead investigator and an associate professor in the Department of Social Sciences and Health Policy. "We hope that it will help us reach Latinos who are at risk for HIV and improve the outcomes for HIV-positive Latinos so they are not affected disproportionately."

Despite overall advances in medical care and treatment, Latinos with HIV in the United States have higher mortality rates than whites, Rhodes said. This medical fact is especially significant in North Carolina, which has one of the fastest-growing Latino populations in the country. Between the 1990 and 2000 censuses, the Latino population in the United States grew by 58 percent, whereas in North Carolina, the number of Latinos grew by nearly 400 percent.

In addition to the exponential growth of the Latino population in the state, Latinos in North Carolina experience a disproportionate HIV burden.

According to reports from the Centers for Disease Control, Latinos have the second highest rate of AIDS diagnoses of all racial and ethnic groups. Latinos accounted for 20 percent of the total number of new AIDS cases reported in 2004 almost four times greater than that for non-Latino whites. Rates of reportable sexually transmitted diseases also are higher among Latinos. In 2003, the rates of gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis were 2.2, 4, and 2 times
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Contact: Jessica Guenzel
jguenzel@wfubmc.edu
336-716-3487
Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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