|AIDS ignorance in USA
Jun 22, 2005
Hi doctor, as a european man I visited USA for the first time mainly New York and Miami. I was shocked by the fact that people are so ignorant about AIDS. In Europe we have condom machines everywhere and booklets in the bars about safe sex and AIDS. But I could not see any in USA. People still think it is a gay disease. I can understand now why AIDS is increasing USA and government is doing nothing to prevent.
| Response from Dr. Frascino
I absolutely agree with you! HIV prevention efforts here in the U.S. have been eviscerated by our current puritanical administration. The consequences of "abstinence only" sex education are being seen in rising rates of STDs, including HIV. The latest CDC statistics now show more than a million Americans are living with HIV. An estimated 25 percent of those don't even know they have it! The majority of new HIV infections in the U.S. are transmitted by this 25% who don't know they have the disease. New HIV infections in the U.S. have been stable at approximately 40,000 per year; however, many experts now believe that number has jumped to 60,000 per year.
Effective programs of HIV awareness and prevention are as lacking here in the U.S. as effective HIV treatment programs are lacking in many developing nations. Both situations are deplorable. That is why a private foundation such as mine, The Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation (www.concertedeffort.org), remains committed to its dual mission of providing crucial services to men, women and children living with HIV/AIDS and increasing awareness of the HIV/AIDS pandemic through advocacy and education.
There are many, many wonderful things about the U.S.; however, its response to the HIV/AIDS pandemic is not one of them.
Try visiting San Francisco on your next vacation. I believe you will find our response to the AIDS catastrophe more "European."
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