Happy World AIDS Day
Another World AIDS Day, another day to remember those we've lost and to be thankful for the survival of those we love who live with the disease that has no cure. But the headline on this post is not sarcastic. This day is more hopeful than previous commemorations.
"We are breaking the trajectory of the AIDS epidemic with bold actions and smart choices," declares Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS, on the organization's website. And no wonder. According to the annual report on the global epidemic by UNAIDS, "New HIV infections have reduced by nearly 20% in the past 10 years." Surely, part of that success belongs to the leadership of the United States, which former president George W. Bush exerted with the creation of PEPFAR. Also lifting hopes are the results of a three-year global study (including participants in the United States) that showed an existing AIDS therapy called Truvada reduced the chances of HIV infection among gay and bisexual men by 44 percent when used in conjunction with condoms. That rate increased to 73 percent among men who adhere more faithfully to the daily dose of the baby blue pill.
But the epidemic in this country continues with devastating impact. In the District of Columbia, where more than three percent of the population is living with the disease, HIV/AIDS is an epidemiological inferno. That African American men here and across the country are bearing the brunt of it is an American tragedy. While issues of stigma are at play in this community, HIV/AIDS is an equal-opportunity killer. To think that only other people get the disease could be a deadly error.
The Obama administration released a long-awaited national battle plan against HIV/AIDS in July. It borrows from some of the innovative practices already underway at the local level. This is good because failure is not an option.
Posted by: ohioan | December 1, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse