MS disproportionately affects certain racial and ethnic communities. African Americans—both male and female—have a higher incidence of MS compared with their Caucasian American counterparts. Furthermore, recent data show that the presentation of the disease in the African American community, including accelerated progression and greater mortality, underscores a challenging journey for African Americans diagnosed with MS. African Americans living with MS also face systemic social issues that pervade general society but are uniquely challenging in a health care setting.
Members of the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America’s African American Advisory Board convened on November 16, 2019, in Atlanta, GA. The meeting was attended by:
The ultimate goal of this meeting was to facilitate dialogue, allowing the diverse group of participants to share their views on the challenges that face African Americans living with MS en route to developing programmatic initiatives that address unmet needs in the community. Information gathered from the meeting is being processed to aid in the development of an actionable plan, tailored educational offerings, and a selection of services to continue building on the work of the African American committees of MSAA.