New minority fellowships tackle shortage of physicians from hardest-hit communities

October 12, 2006

Toronto, CA, Oct. 12 -- The leading organization of HIV care providers has created clinical fellowships designed to encourage physicians from some of the most-affected communities to enter the field of HIV care. The HIV Medicine Association (HIVMA) Minority Clinical Fellowship Program will offer African American and Latino physicians the opportunity to gain clinical experience and expertise in HIV care.

The need for more minority physicians practicing HIV care is urgent. African Americans make up only 13 percent of the U.S. population but accounted for 49 percent of the AIDS diagnoses and 55 percent of the AIDS deaths in 2004, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Latinos represent 14 percent of the U.S. population but 20 percent of the AIDS cases. Many Latinos also struggle with language barriers and are the ethnic group most likely to be uninsured, further limiting their access to care.

"The number of African Americans and Latinos with HIV /AIDS continues to grow, but we have not seen a parallel increase of health care providers from those constituencies," said Arlene Bardeguez, MD, MPH, vice chair of the HIVMA Board of Directors. About 1,100 physicians from each group graduated from medical school in 2004, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. That's up from 704 African Americans and 473 Latinos in 1980, but still one tenth the number of white graduates.

"To make matters worse, very few physicians of any race or ethnicity are going into the field of HIV medicine," added Kimberly Y. Smith, MD, MPH, member of the HIVMA Minority Clinical Fellowship Committee. HIVMA and other organizations fear a crisis unless action is taken to train more providers in HIV care.

HIVMA Chair Daniel R. Kuritzkes, MD, added, "The Fellowships will train physicians from the African American and Latino communities--those hardest hit by the HIV/AIDS epidemic--who can bring their much-needed expertise and commitment to HIV-positive patients in their communities."

The Fellowships provide each recipient a stipend plus benefits for one year as well as financial support for the sponsoring institution and mentor. Applicants will work with HIVMA mentors at institutions where they will continuously manage HIV-positive inpatients and outpatients.
-end-
HIVMA is delighted to have received support for the Fellowships from several pharmaceutical companies. HIVMA acknowledges the generous support of GlaxoSmithKline, Abbott Laboratories, and Gilead Sciences for this important new initiative.

HIVMA is the professional home for more than 3,400 physicians, scientists and other health care professionals dedicated to the field of HIV/AIDS. Nested within the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), HIVMA promotes quality in HIV care and advocates policies that ensure a comprehensive and humane response to the AIDS pandemic informed by science and social justice. IDSA is a professional society representing about 8,000 physicians and scientists who specialize in infectious diseases. For more information, visit our websites: www.hivma.org and www.idsociety.org.

Infectious Diseases Society of America

Related HIV Articles from Brightsurf:

BEAT-HIV Delaney collaboratory issues recommendations measuring persistent HIV reservoirs
Spearheaded by Wistar scientists, top worldwide HIV researchers from the BEAT-HIV Martin Delaney Collaboratory to Cure HIV-1 Infection by Combination Immunotherapy (BEAT-HIV Collaboratory) compiled the first comprehensive set of recommendations on how to best measure the size of persistent HIV reservoirs during cure-directed clinical studies.

The Lancet HIV: Study suggests a second patient has been cured of HIV
A study of the second HIV patient to undergo successful stem cell transplantation from donors with a HIV-resistant gene, finds that there was no active viral infection in the patient's blood 30 months after they stopped anti-retroviral therapy, according to a case report published in The Lancet HIV journal and presented at CROI (Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections).

Children with HIV score below HIV-negative peers in cognitive, motor function tests
Children who acquired HIV in utero or during birth or breastfeeding did not perform as well as their peers who do not have HIV on tests measuring cognitive ability, motor function and attention, according to a report published online today in Clinical Infectious Diseases.

Efforts to end the HIV epidemic must not ignore people already living with HIV
Efforts to prevent new HIV transmissions in the US must be accompanied by addressing HIV-associated comorbidities to improve the health of people already living with HIV, NIH experts assert in the third of a series of JAMA commentaries.

The Lancet HIV: Severe anti-LGBT legislations associated with lower testing and awareness of HIV in African countries
This first systematic review to investigate HIV testing, treatment and viral suppression in men who have sex with men in Africa finds that among the most recent studies (conducted after 2011) only half of men have been tested for HIV in the past 12 months.

The Lancet HIV: Tenfold increase in number of adolescents on HIV treatment in South Africa since 2010, but many still untreated
A new study of more than 700,000 one to 19-year olds being treated for HIV infection suggests a ten-fold increase in the number of adolescents aged 15 to 19 receiving HIV treatment in South Africa, according to results published in The Lancet HIV journal.

Starting HIV treatment in ERs may be key to ending HIV spread worldwide
In a follow-up study conducted in South Africa, Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers say they have evidence that hospital emergency departments (EDs) worldwide may be key strategic settings for curbing the spread of HIV infections in hard-to-reach populations if the EDs jump-start treatment and case management as well as diagnosis of the disease.

NIH HIV experts prioritize research to achieve sustained ART-free HIV remission
Achieving sustained remission of HIV without life-long antiretroviral therapy (ART) is a top HIV research priority, according to a new commentary in JAMA by experts at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health.

The Lancet HIV: PrEP implementation is associated with a rapid decline in new HIV infections
Study from Australia is the first to evaluate a population-level roll-out of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) in men who have sex with men.

Researchers date 'hibernating' HIV strains, advancing BC's leadership in HIV cure research
Researchers have developed a novel way for dating 'hibernating' HIV strains, in an advancement for HIV cure research.

Read More: HIV News and HIV Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.