How Testing Serves African Americans in Epidemics, Past and Present: Applying Lessons from Tuberculosis to COVID-19 in the United States

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2021-02-12

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Abstract

Rather than lacking the resources, knowledge or empirical evidence to successfully address testing inequities in the African American community, the U.S. lacks the imagination and commitment to directly confronting structural inequities that lead to failures in testing strategies for tuberculosis (TB) and COVID-19. Historical case studies showing successes and failures of TB testing campaigns in the African American community hold lessons that we can incorporate into our current and future public health measures in infectious disease outbreaks. This way—whether it’s an ancient bacteria like TB or a novel virus like COVID-19—we can work toward ensuring that insufficient trust in and access to high-quality, reliable tests will not be obstacles to improving equity in health outcomes. Further research on the nuances of how infectious disease testing has served other minority groups in the U.S. is recommended.

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Chen, Yuexuan (2021). How Testing Serves African Americans in Epidemics, Past and Present: Applying Lessons from Tuberculosis to COVID-19 in the United States. Honors thesis, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/22350.


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