Seattle RARE Project: Rapid Assessment, Response and Evaluation
Final Report and Recommendations
In Seattle-King County, as in the U.S. as a whole, epidemiological data indicate that HIV and AIDS are disproportionately affecting African Americans and foreign-born Black immigrants (hereafter referred to as Blacks). Overall, the percent of HIV/AIDS cases among people of color has risen steadily since the early years of the epidemic in King County, going from 13% of cases in 1984-86 to 26% in 1993-95 and 35% in 1999-2001. Blacks, increasing 4.5 times more likely to be infected with HIV than whites, are the most disproportionately impacted racial group. About 2% of Black men and 1% of Black women in King County are currently living with HIV/AIDS. Foreign-born Blacks comprise an increasing share of the infections among Blacks in King County. In light of these data, Public Health-Seattle & King County decided to assess the HIV prevention needs of the Black community in order to provide more effective prevention services.
At the request of Executive Ron Sims, King County applied for and received money from the Department of Health and Human Services to conduct an in-depth HIV prevention needs assessment of the local Black community called the RARE Project (Rapid Assessment, Response, and Evaluation). RARE draws on the resources of both the Public Health agency and the community for an effective data gathering process. The project was overseen by a Community Working Group (CWG) comprised of local service providers, leaders, and community members with unique experience and expertise in HIV prevention. The purpose of the assessment was to gather information from the community about barriers to receiving HIV prevention services, and to find out how to more effectively address these barriers.