North Carolina Newspapers

Study: HIV on the rise
among college students
The number of HIV cases in
black, male college students is
more prevalent, according to a
recent study, but experts warn that
anyone sexually active should exer
cise caution.
The study, titled “Transmission
on Campus: Insights from Tracking
HIV Incidence in North Carolina,”
included 37 schools in the state.
Specific numbers for each school
were not disclosed. The study
examined 998 males in the state,
84 of them being college students.
There were six cases of male col
lege students reported to the N.C.
Health Department in 2000.
Preliminary numbers for 2003 have
already reported 30 HIV cases.
Sixteen percent of the cases are
black males between the ages of 18
and 30 who reported having sex
with other men, but don’t necessar
ily identify themselves as being gay.
The study showed that 40 per
cent of the HIV positive college
students reported having sex with
women, making a large number of
women at risk for contracting HIV.
But the study stated that there
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have been only five women
statewide who have been affected
by HIV from 2000-03.
The fact that males do not iden
tify themselves as gay, even when
having had sex with males, makes
messages on HIV prevention inef
fective because males do not think
the message is relevant to them,
said Peter Leone, medical director
for the North Carolina HIV/STD
Prevention and Care branch and
one of the authors of the study.
The national Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention identified
around 4,500 cases of black males,
ages 18-25, having sex with males.
Karlie Stanton, spokeswoman
for the CDC, said publicity and
HIV prevention messages should
be sensitive to the way people iden
tify themselves to be effective.
Leone said messages should be
rephrased. “If you’re sexually active,
you need to be concerned of HIV.”
CDC statistics also show that
even though blacks account for 12
percent of the country’s popula
tion, 55 percent of people with
HIV are black. Thirty-one percent
of those with HIV are white and 12
percent are Hispanic.
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Stanton said the black and
Hispanic population face more
challenges to stay protected
because they generally face pover
ty, do not have access to health care
and have a higher connection to
sexually transmitted diseases.
But Leone said the college stu
dent outbreak is not exclusive to
blacks. He said high-risk sexual
activity is a main reason for the
increased HIV cases and added
that lack of perception of risk is a
contributing factor to the outbreak.
“People don’t see other folks
dying of HIV or don’t know other
people with the disease,” he said.
The CDC statistics show there
have been 40,000 new HIV cases
each year for the last decade. Half
of the cases are among people
younger than 25 years old.
Stanton said the reason college
students might be more at risk to
acquire HIV is high-risk sexual
activity: unprotected sex, multiple
sex partners or young women
choosing partners older than
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Haiti leaders warn of coup
Seeking help from U.N., U.S., France
Haiti’s prime minister said Thesday
that the country is in the throes of
a coup and needs international
help to contend with a bloody
uprising that has claimed 57 lives.
But the United States and France
expressed reluctance to send
troops to put down the rebellion.
Aid agencies called for urgent
international action, warning that
Haiti is on “the verge of a general
ized civil war.” The U.N. refugee
agency met with officials in
Washington, D.C., to discuss how
to confront a feared exodus of
On Tuesday, airlines in Port-au-
Prince canceled flights to the
northern port of Cap-Haitien,
Haiti’s second largest city, after
witnesses in the barricaded city
saw a boat approach and rumors
swept the town that rebels were
about to attack.
In the western port of St. Marc,
a U.S. missionary said his life has
been threatened by supporters of
President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.
“We are witnessing the coup d’e
tat machine in motion,” Prime
Minister Yvon Neptune said
Thesday, urging the international
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community “to show it really wants
peace and stability.”
Haiti’s 5,000-member police
force appears unable to stem the
revolt, but Aristide and Neptune
stopped short of asking for military
Secretary of State Colin Powell
said Thesday, “There is frankly no
enthusiasm right now for sending
in military or police forces to put
down the violence.”
Powell said the international
community wants to see “a political
solution” and only then would will
ing nations offer a police presence
to implement such an agreement.
Powell spoke by telephone with
French Foreign Minister
Dominique de Villepin, who called
an emergency meeting in Paris on
Thesday to weigh the risks of send
ing peacekeepers and discuss how
otherwise to help Haiti, an impov
erished former colony that is home
to 2,000 French citizens.
He said France had 4,000
troops in its Caribbean territories
of Martinique and Guadeloupe
trained in humanitarian work who
could work with a U.N. humani
tarian mission.
U.N. Secretary-General Kofi
Annan said Thesday the world
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body plans to “become much more
actively engaged” in Haiti’s crisis.
Officials from several U.N. agen
cies went to the country Feb. 8 to
assess the humanitarian situation
and are expected to return to
report at the end of the week.
U.S. Ambassador James Foley
said Tuesday that Washington is
ready to give $500,000 in human
itarian aid to Haiti through the
United Nations.
“We are calling for a truce. It
doesn’t mean that we want to
maintain the status quo. We want
a radical change in the country,”
Foley said.
“Haiti cannot continue living
without a state of law, with politi
cized and demoralized police,
armed gangs.”
The United States has staged
three military interventions in
Haiti, the last in 1994, when it sent
20,000 troops to end a military
dictatorship that had ousted
Aristide and to halt an influx of
Haitian boat people to Florida.
Aristide, who was wildly popular
when he became Haiti’s first freely
elected leader in 1990, has lost sup
port since his party swept flawed
legislative elections in 2000. He is
accused of using police and armed
militants to stifle dissent and allow
ing corruption to fund lavish
lifestyles for his cronies.

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