:: to the teeth ::    thoughts on social justice, medicine, race, hope and beats

"Another world is not only possible, she is on her way.
On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." :: Arundhati Roy ::

"The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don't have any." :: Alice Walker ::
Saturday, July 26, 2003  

The Hardest Hit

Hispanics are disproportionately affected by AIDS and HIV yet are less likely to be tested or seek treatment than non-Hispanics, according to a report released Thursday...While Hispanics are increasingly affected by AIDS, blacks are among the hardest hit. The report found the black community accounted for 54 percent of the new HIV infections in 2002, while whites represented 26 percent of new cases.

Also, a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation study found that "almost one in six black Medicare beneficiaries 65 and older did not fill at least one prescription in 2001 because it was unaffordable. The number for whites was only one in 15... The study found that poor, elderly Medicare beneficiaries -- incomes for a single person below the poverty level of $8,590 a year -- are nearly three times as likely as seniors with incomes above 200 percent of poverty to go without a prescription because of cost. Nearly 40 percent of elderly black beneficiaries lived in poverty in 2001, compared with about 10 percent of whites."

"Helen Gaskins, a 71-year-old African-American from East Orange, said her four medication prescriptions total about $500 a month. Gaskins, a widow, suffers from diabetes, high blood pressure and colon problems. She must take daily insulin shots for her diabetes and that medication alone runs her more than $50 a month. There is no way she can afford to fill all the prescriptions at once, she said. So Gaskins ends up putting off one medication until she has the money. Other times, she obtains a lesser amount -- that is she talks her pharmacist into giving her a 15-day supply of high blood pressure pills, for instance, instead of the prescribed 30. She even admits to sometimes cutting her pills in half to "help them last," although doctors certainly advise against this."

posted by Anjali Taneja | 7/26/2003 12:14:00 AM | |


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