My Nonprofit Reviews
Review for Livefree, Inc., Oak Park, IL, USA
It has been my pleasure to work with the staff of Research and Evaluations Solutions, Inc. (REESSI) in their HIV/STI risk reduction project J.E.W.E.L.S that focuses on young African-American and Latina girls and young women in Illinois. Clearly a great deal of though was provided by Dr. Lorraine Morrow- Carter and her team of committed professionals in the development and implementation of this project.
In the U.S., 15% of all new HIV infections in 2006 were among people ages 13-24. Youth of color bear a disproportionate burden of new cases; 85% of new HIV or AIDS diagnoses in 2007 among youth ages 13-19 were to Latino and African American teens, who constitute only 32% of the youth population.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that there are 19 million new cases of STIs annually, almost half of them among young people ages 15–24. In the United States, reported cases of Chlamydia and gonorrhea exceeded 1.4 million in 2007. The rate among women was 3-fold that of men in 2007 with 543.6 cases per 100,000 women versus 190 cases per 100,000 men for Chlamydia. Teen girls ages 15 to 19 have the highest gonorrhea rate of any age group
Women of color (WOC) account for one-third of the female U.S. population but approximately 84 percent of the estimated number of women
Living with AIDS. The disparity is most egregious among Black/African-American* women, who comprise approximately 65 percent of all
Women living with AIDS.
Most WOC contract HIV through heterosexual contact.2 In fact, women are more biologically susceptible to HIV infection: Male-to-female transmission of HIV is 2 to 4 times more efficient (in the epidemiologic sense) than female-to-male transmission.
Many of the factors that render WOC especially vulnerable to HIV infection also serve as barriers to effective linkage to and retention in care. Moreover, lower retention
and adherence rates for WOC in care translate to lower rates of response to treatment and survival.
Clearly REESSI’s focus on these very vulnerable and disproportionately impacted communities is timely and extremely necessary. I look forward to our continued collaboration and shared response to this issue.
Consumer Development and Advocacy Coordinator
Ruth M. Rothstein CORE Center
Chicago, IL 60612