Raising Women’s Voices

World AIDS Day: reflections on how far we’ve come, thoughts on how far we have yet to go

Posted in Uncategorized by raisingwomensvoices on December 2, 2008

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Dr. Anthony S. Fauci of the National Institute of Health wrote yesterday, World AIDS Day, on CNN.com about the accomplishments in the fields of medical science and health care provision in the decades since the first World AIDS Day, on December 1, 1988.  Since then, over two dozen anti-HIV medications have been developed, which, if prescribed in proper combinations, can dramatically improve patients’ length of life.

While Fauci goes on to praise the work of innovative government programs, international funds, and countless non-profit organizations, he focuses the bulk of his discussion on the pressing realities of the HIV/AIDS epidemic as it faces Americans today.  In certain communities, particularly among gay and bisexual men and African Americans in general, HIV prevalence rates are on par with those seen in sub-Saharan Africa.

Approximately one-fifth of the HIV-positive U.S. population is unaware of their infection, which will continue to go unnoticed under the present circumstances until the disease reaches advanced stages, at which point the effectiveness of treatment will most likely be reduced.

“Now is the time for the medical community and policymakers to embrace U.S. guidelines for all Americans aged 13-64 to be voluntarily tested in routine medical care. Barriers to implementation of HIV testing guidelines, such as state, local or agency regulations that conflict with the recommendations, variability in payment coverage for the test, and concerns about the stigma and discrimination that may accompany an HIV diagnosis, must be addressed.”

Read the full article here.

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