This year’s theme is “Hear Indigenous Voices: Uniting Bold Voices of American Indians, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians/Other Pacific Islanders.” The rate of HIV and AIDS in the American Indian and Alaska Native population is significant, and stigma and fear can keep people from seeking help. Getting tested is the first step in protecting health and stopping the spread of the virus to others. HIV/AIDS testing is free at all IHS facilities
The IHS National HIV/AIDS Program (HIV/AIDS) coordinates and promotes HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment activities specific to Indians as part of a comprehensive public health approach. In addition to providing medical care to eligible beneficiaries, the IHS also serves as a public health system. The goals of the HIV/AIDS Program are to prevent further spread of HIV and improve health outcomes for those already living with HIV and AIDS.
- identifying new approaches to implement effective prevention interventions;
- developing HIV prevention and care standards and performance measures;
- reducing and preventing new infections by communicating public health messages on the importance of knowing personal HIV status;
- increasing routine HIV screening;
- increasing access to care and improving health outcomes for people living with HIV and AIDS;
- developing policies and procedures to sustain preventative successes including confidentiality concerns;
- utilizing media to expand access to information about testing, stigma prevention, and HIV education for health care providers and AI/AN people; and
- providing technical assistance to Indian Tribes, Tribal organizations, and urban Indian organizations regarding these HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment programs.
Read more on IHS.gov.