Monday, December 01, 2008

Today is World AIDS Day

As someone who has lost both friends and family to this terrible disease, I ask that you take a moment and read this article by Dr. Anthony Fauci. He makes some very compelling points about what we need to do as a nation, particularly in the areas of treatment and testing, to combat HIV/AIDS.

As Dr. Fauci points out:

In the United States, more than 1 million people are living with HIV. And 56,000 more people are infected each year in the U.S., driving HIV prevalence rates in some of our communities to levels that rival those seen in sub-Saharan Africa. Gay and bisexual men, and African-Americans in general, are disproportionately affected. The true ground zero of the HIV epidemic in the United States is in those communities.
If this disease was seen as a middle to upper-class white person's disease, would our legislators/policy-makers/health care professionals have been so slow to act?

Regardless, we must remove the barriers to testing and treatment that are helping to feed this plague. Specifically, HIV testing should be a routine part of primary health care -- and primary health care needs to be made available to everyone.

According to Dr. Fauci, more that a fifth of HIV+ people in the U.S. don't know they have the disease. If you accept the conservative estimate of one million Americans being infected with HIV, that means more than 200,000 people are going untreated, uncounseled, and are likely doing things that put others at risk.

Today, I ask you for nothing accept this. Take a quick moment and read Dr. Fauci's short article and think about HIV/AIDS. Just think about it. And the next time you are voting for a candidate, are listening to a debate, or are given the chance to voice an opinion, remember what Dr. Fauci wrote.

We must act, but before action comes thought and debate. And I hope you will join the debate in support of those afflicted with this disease. As much as they need your donations to find a cure, they may just need this country's political will-to-act even more.

World AIDS Day 2008: Much accomplished, much to do


Shannon said...

I had no idea how many people were still being infected.
I remember the AIDS quilt many years ago that brought much needed attention to the cause.
They have come a long way, but it isn't over yet!

Becky said...

Ironic! I just posted a blog about someone who has been cured with HIV. We need to get funds to fund more research on a cure. That and we need to stop it from spreading as much as we can without taking free will from people... What can we do?! There really are so many good causes in the world.

sarah said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Life Of An Emt said...

You would be surprised at how many people in your communities and surrounding communities are infected with hiv/aids. The area I work in I was shocked to see so many people having the virus. you really don't hear that much about the virus any more its like it was an 80's epidemic and it died out but the truth of the matter is. its not an 80's isolated epidemic. it is a here and now and a continuous spreading virus that someone needs to get a handle on. And I don't know who should be the one to step up and say this is a mandatory testing and test all in the communities. I think people are scared of being ostracized. because most people that find out "joe blow" down the road has hiv/aids omg what a shame stay away from "joe blow" he sneezes you have caught it. When in fact that is a misconception it is not an airborne pathogen it is blood born so you have to come in contact with bodily fluids. unlike hepatitis b which can live out side the human body for weeks even in swimming pools yeah thats a little eye opener for ya huh.. aids when exposed to the air dies. People need to be educated and I have no idea who needs to be the one to start a program that will wake people up to this continuous threat to our communities. Is this where the government needs to step in? is this where big brother needs to come in and make it manditory to force people to be tested? is this what we are saying needs to be done?? if we are saying yes does this mean we have conformed unconsciously to a type of communist government?

EXSENO said...

I totally agree with this,
Specifically, HIV testing should be a routine part of primary health care -- and primary health care needs to be made available to everyone.

Obama claims that he would like to see health care available to everyone. Let's hope he can get it done. But it won't be an easy task.

TheHMC said...

Not much time to read right now, but I'll be sure to check it out later.

Just wanted to let ya'll know that I've been trying to keep up, just haven't been able to comment. Hope all is well with you, C and the girls!