Georgia: Conference to Discuss HIV/AIDS and LGBT Community
April 19, 2012
Atlanta's Morehouse School of Medicine today plays host to the White House LGBT Conference on HIV/AIDS, where leading experts will discuss the national epidemic. The lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender population has been disproportionately impacted by the disease and its stigma, said Dr. David Satcher, a former US surgeon general who is now at Morehouse.
"With early screening and early diagnosis, we can actually prevent the spread of this disease. Until we can get this group of people engaged in our efforts ... we're not going to be successful," Satcher said.
Georgia is among the top 10 states for new HIV diagnoses. And with 957 patients in need of help, the waiting list for its AIDS Drug Assistance Program is the longest among the eight states with current lists. Demand for help from the state-run ADAPs has boomed in recent years due to the poor economy. Georgia and the Southeast have been especially hard-hit due to a large number of minority and poor residents, said Dr. Patrick O'Neal, director of health promotion for the Georgia Department of Public Health.
O'Neal said the state has numerous initiatives responding to the epidemic, but he added, "I am very concerned we don't have a single vision of what we hope to accomplish."
Jeff Graham, executive director of the LGBT advocacy group Georgia Equality, said cooperation among the state, activists and others is growing.
04.19.2012; Misty Williams
This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.
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