AIDS Programs Reach Out To African Immigrant Community

The Seattle Times reports on educating people about AIDS in the African immigrant community in Seattle.

"For African immigrants, who come from countries with high rates of HIV and AIDS, talking about their own diagnosis is often taboo. Solomon Tsegaselassie, a health educator for the Center for Multicultural Health in Seattle, which pays people $20 to get HIV/AIDS tests, says many immigrants won't come to the office for testing. 'They want me to visit their house in the dark so people don't get suspicious,' he said. The wariness is particularly true for immigrant women, who often are the most difficult to reach with services, say local health-care providers."

The article continues: "Tsegaselassie, who was a health worker in his native Ethiopia, says fighting the spread of HIV/AIDS in African immigrant communities in the U.S. is in some ways more difficult than it is in Africa." He says that in Africa the government AIDS-prevention commercials are constantly being aired. But in the U.S. that is not the case and "many Africans ... 'think there's not an HIV problem in America.' ... he said" (Anderson, 9/7).

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