For the second year in a row, the theme for World AIDS Day is "Getting to Zero" -- a daunting call to action that HIV/AIDS leaders have taken on as a goal to tackle within a decade. For World AIDS Day 2011, we asked people living with HIV/AIDS and advocates to share what steps they thought were needed to reach zero new HIV cases, zero deaths and zero HIV-related discrimination. This year we're turning the tables: After several decades of awareness, education and research, what factors keep this reality out of the world's grasp?
Comment by: W. JAMES PERIGNY
(FT. LAUDERDALE, FL)
Tue., Dec. 4, 2012 at 12:21 pm EST
After working in the trenches of HIV trying to help people, I sincerely believe:
1. Most grants go to Treatment not enough go to prevention...we are getting too many new infections and we will never stamp out Aids at the current rates of infection.
2. When Grant decisions are made, no one actually asks "how much funding do you already receive". Keep as many Agencies funded as possible that ACTUALLY WORK WITH HIV CLIENTS.
3. Too many grants are gobbled up by the large agencies that have large staff and payroll overhead and can produce Grant Writers written pretty paperwork. THE EMPHASIS SHOULD NOT BE IN THE WRITTEN PAPER, BUT RATHER, WHAT THE AGENCY HAS ACTUALLY ACCOMPLISHED WITH THE FUNDING THEY HAVE PREVIOUSLY RECEIVED.
4. Not many grants have been given for Peer or Support groups which keep Positives engaged in adherrence and the newest meds or programs or where to actually go for help.
5. The government should create an AIDS Research Center (much like the Atom Bomb research center of the 1940's) and not duplicate research dollars. HIRE the best research scientists.
6. Hold the cost of meds down by blocking advertisements and RYAN WHITE MEDS purchased on the State level, not the county level...the prices would be cheaper. The Pharmas are already making billions on managing health...where is their incentive to find a vaccine or cure???
7. HIGH IMPACT PREVENTION is only as good as its data. For instance, if you mostly test in Black areas, then the data will show huge increase in Black populations and ignore Hispanics or other groups.
8. EVERYONE should be tested. The Federal Government should force the AMA to have HIV Testing part of annual physical exams
9. More grant dollars should be given for Social Marketing and radio ads stressing PREVENTION. The messages need to be sent over and over.
10. More grant dollars should be given to erase HIV Stigma. Fear currently rules.
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