Raising Women’s Voices

The Reality of HIV/AIDS in the United States

Posted in Uncategorized by raisingwomensvoices on December 2, 2008

The Center for American Progress shared some numbers yesterday, in recognition of World AIDS Day, that add up to a wake-up call for all those invested in the health and human rights of the American people.  A pressing global issue, the HIV/AIDS epidemic must not be forgotten in the context of United States health care reform and efforts of policymakers and reformers to advocate on behalf of quality, affordable health care for all.

AIDS is the number one killer for black women between the ages of 25 and 34.

Black women are now almost 15 times as likely to be infected with HIV and 23 times more likely to be diagnosed with AIDS as white women.

Fifty-three percent of new HIV infections in 2006 occurred in gay and bisexual men of all races and ethnicities.

African Americans, who make up only 12 percent of the U.S. population, now make up more than 45 percent of new infections.

Only 4 percent of the current share of HIV/AIDS domestic funding is devoted to prevention programs.

The article proposes five key points of a National AIDS Strategy, on which the incoming administration is urged to take action:

1. Early and ongoing care to people with HIV by passing the Early Treatment for HIV/AIDS Act and reauthorizing the Ryan White Care Act.

2. Programs based on solid, evidence-based public health principles, including removing the ban on funding for syringe exchange and discontinuing funding for abstinence-only education.

3. Participation and leadership on the President’s Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS from the most vulnerable communities by including people of color, women, and gay men who are living with HIV/AIDS.

4. More funding to the Minority AIDS Initiative to address the disproportionate effect that HIV/AIDS has had on communities of color.

5. An end to the unnecessary discrimination that prohibits people with HIV from entering the United States as either visitors or immigrants.

Read the full article here.

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