Obama Administration FINALLY Offers An HIV/AIDS Strategy
Matt | On 14, Jul 2010
Today was an important step forward in the Obama Administration, no matter your political affiliation or feelings about our government.
Health and Human Services Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, unveiled the Administration’s first National HIV/AIDS strategy on Tuesday afternoon in a live event broadcast on the White House’s website. This is the Administration’s first attempt at addressing this public health crisis in Obama with an actionable plan in their 18-month tenure.
On the AIDS.gov site today, they listed the overall vision of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy as follows:
“The United States will become a place where new HIV infections are rare and when they do occur, every person, regardless of age, gender, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, or socio-economic circumstance, will have unfettered access to high quality, life-extending care, free from stigma and discrimination.”
Big goals? Yes. Broad scope? Hell yeah. But, this is a public health crisis that has to be addressed with big action and incessant public information. The fear has been that our public has become much too complacent about the spread of the disease. Stigma is one of the main, yet unnecessary, roadblocks in dealing with it.
The strategy is designed to reduce the amount of infections in the U.S. by 25 percent in five years. They want to pay special attention to at-risk groups, including: men in prisons, gay/bisexual men, other minority groups, and Black men/women, in particular. Of course, federal funding is a key component of this. But, also creating programs that take the audiences into consideration and will get their attention.
Currently, 1 in 5 infected Americans does not know they even have the virus, according the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Each year, over 56,000 Americans contract the disease. There are over 1.1 million people living in this country with HIV/AIDS.
I’m glad to see the Administration addressing this issue in such a public forum. It’s a silent killer that is preventable with the right type of education and practices. Do I think they could have discussed this a year ago? Umm .. yeah! But, in this instance, late is MUCH better than never. In this instance, I don’t think throwing stones at the Administration does any good when people are dying from this disease.
We’ve got to treat this like we do drunk driving, influenza, and seat belt use. Information and action combined are powerful.
Read the National Strategy yourself by clicking here.