Journal of Public Health Policy and Planning

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Persistent racial disparities in HIV/AIDS treatment and care: the role of Ryan White planning councils in the United States.

Despite advances in care and treatment over the last 36 years, racial disparities persist in HIV/AIDS morbidity and mortality. The Federal Ryan White legislation funds HIV/AIDS services for persons who are unable to access treatment and care. Ryan White Planning Councils (RWPCs) inform planning and delivery of services by assessing the local needs of people with HIV/AIDS, allocating Ryan White funds to services that meet these needs, and developing long term plans for the delivery of care. Using qualitative editing analysis, we analyze the bylaws of RWPCs throughout the United States to assess purposefulness in confronting racial disparities in HIV/AIDS care and treatment. Only 13% of RWPCs are explicit about eliminating racial disparities. RWPCs should incorporate overt racial health equity language into their bylaws and in practice. Establishing “disparities committees” to ensure that processes and programs are inclusive, and do not have unintentional consequences for communities of color is essential.

Author(s): Sirry Alang*, Brett Burnham, Thuan Tran