Leads Coalition to Fight AIDS
Luntta (518) 437-4980
N.Y. (September 30, 2003) -- The University at Albany has
formed a community coalition to combat AIDS and HIV in the
black community, diseases that disproportionately affect blacks
in Albany and throughout the United States.
on Community represents a multidisciplinary alliance among
the University at Albany, community-based organizations, and
the black church. Partners, including the Whitney M. Young
Jr. Health Center, St. John's Community Development Corporation,
and the Capital District African-American Coalition on AIDS,
will provide collective support around AIDS prevention in
the black community, including raising funds for future research.
in the black community," said UAlbany Sociology Associate
Professor Hayward Derrick Horton, who founded the coalition,
"such as the black church and voluntary organizations,
are significant because they provide social support and are
central to the formulation and maintenance of social relationships
for blacks in America. The association between strong social
relationships and good health is well established. We know
this coalition will provide such a strong center for the black
community in Albany."
face of HIV/AIDS in Albany is disproportionately black. While
blacks represent 28 percent of the city’s total population,
more than 40 percent of city residents age 25 to 29 living
with AIDS are black. Half of the city's AIDS cases between
the ages of 30 and 39 are black. Nearly 60 percent of those
between the ages of 40 and 49 with AIDS are black, and blacks
represent half of the city's residents with AIDS between the
ages of 50 and 59. Although blacks make up a little more than
a quarter of Albany’s population, they represent more than
half of all the AIDS cases as of June 2000 (Surveillance Report,
NYS Department of Health, June 2000).
also has disproportionately affected African Americans throughout
the United States. In 1998, African Americans made up 13 percent
of the population but represented 45 percent of the reported
AIDS cases (CDC, 2000). In that same year, AIDS was the leading
cause of death of African American men 25 to 44 years of age.
The Centers for Disease Control also reported that African
American men who have sex with men comprise 38 percent of
the AIDS cases (Center for Disease Control, 2000).
on Community was founded on the belief that HIV/AIDS in the
city of Albany will continue to be disproportionately black
without interventions involving the black community. Initially,
the coalition will assemble a broad spectrum of focus groups,
including persons with HIV/AIDS, those who are gay or bisexual,
community leaders, and religious leaders, for discussion and
analysis of data.
Derrick Horton, the coalition's principal investigator, is
immediate past president of the Association of Black Sociologists,
a former chair of the Section on Racial and Ethnic Minorities
(SREM) of the American Sociological Association, and a member
of the Board of Directors of the Northeastern New York AIDS
Council. He is also the director of the University at Albany’s
Critical Demography Project.