Several news outlets mark the end of the International AIDS Conference with commentaries.
The Long, Uphill Battle Against AIDS
The international AIDS conference in Washington has already made two points clear. There is no prospect that scientists will any time soon find the ultimate solutions to the AIDS epidemic, namely a vaccine that would prevent infection with the AIDS virus or a "cure" for people already infected with the virus. Even so, health care leaders already have many tools that have been shown in rigorous trials to prevent transmission of the virus, making it feasible to talk of controlling the epidemic within the foreseeable future. The only question is whether the nations of the world are willing to put up enough money and make the effort to do it. (The New York Times, 7/27)
Imagine a World Without AIDS
AdvertisementMayer: HIV Law Should Reflect Medicine's Reality
The beginning of the end of AIDS? The article with that title jumped out at me last week, as I did my weekly table-of-contents scan of The New England Journal of Medicine. I wasn't prepared for the flood of emotion that overcame me. The beginning of the end? Could it really be? (Danielle Ofri, The New York Times, 7/27)
HIV criminalization laws are a particularly strong source of stigma. These laws generally require HIV-positive people to disclose their HIV status to potential partners before any exposures occur. Research has shown these laws don't work. HIV-positive people living in states with HIV criminalization laws were no more likely to disclose their status than those who lived in states without such laws. ... We treat no other infectious disease in this way. (Randy Mayer, Des Moines Register
The Deep South, Stigmas and the AIDS Epidemic
More than 30 years into the AIDS epidemic, a combination of safe-sex education and a new generation of pharmaceuticals has left many Americans convinced that HIV/AIDS is a problem that, if not solved, has at least been addressed. But that's certainly not true in the South, which accounts for nearly 50 percent of all new HIV infections in the United States. The South has the highest rate of AIDS deaths of any U.S. region. It also has the largest numbers of adolescents and adults with HIV and the fewest resources to fight the epidemic. (Lisa Biagiotti, Dallas Morning News, 7/30)
Ethical Challenges of Preexposure Prophylaxis for HIV
(Truvada) became the first drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP) of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) for adults at high risk. ... Despite empowering patients and promoting the public's health, PrEP could exacerbate health care inequalities. High cost and intense medical monitoring could exclude individuals with low income, unstable housing, drug dependence, or mental illness. This challenge is even greater in low-income countries with limited resources and infrastructure. (Jonathan S. Jay and Lawrence O. Gostin, Journal of the American Medical Association, 7/27)
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This article was reprinted from kaiserhealthnews.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.