Intro to Solutions
With an alarming AIDS rate of 2,600 per every 100,000 people, the capital city of Connecticut faces a serious public health issue. As a population with an AIDS rate more than 9 times the national average, Hartford finds itself in this concerning situation. This abundance of HIV/AIDS in Hartford translates to a strong need for aggressive prevention methods.
Unquestionably, those who use and abuse drugs comprise the largest population infected with HIV. The AIDS rate is also disproportionately high among the minority populations in and around Hartford, and has also been increasing among youth and adolescents. A program at preventing the virus from spreading further needs to target these population subgroups to be effective.
With a basic needle exchange program already in place, thanks to AIDS Project Hartford, (a non-profit organization) the Hartford area has begun to address prevention among this highly infected drug using population. However, little has been done to educate the uninfected (general public) of the risks of contracting the virus from IV drug abuse. Not enough has been done to help those minorities living with the disease, who, unfortunately, are also facing challenges from living with HIV in everyday life.
Although the number of AIDS cases has decreased significantly since 1998 (37) high HIV/AIDS rates still exist in and around Hartford, and the needle exchange program has only been semi productive. In addition to this, prevention messages and education for the population has been lacking. There are clearly many steps still to be taken in order to advance the solutions and ultimately pursue a healthier community.