AIDS Foundation of Chicago Holds Forum on HIV Prevention Success
October 14, 2005
The AIDS Foundation of Chicago recently presented "Reality Check: HIV Prevention Works!" -- the last in AFC's three-part 2005 Speakers Series.
"What would the epidemic have looked like if prevention programs had not been in place?" asked panelist David Holtgrave, Ph.D., a chair of the new Department of Health, Behavior and Society at Johns Hopkins' Bloomberg School of Public Health. "Clearly, it would have been worse." Citing his research, Holtgrave estimated prevention efforts in the United States have saved 200,000 to 1.5 million people from HIV infection.
"I think they've also prevented deaths, as well," said Holtgrave, citing newer and more effective drugs and the prevention successes of the previous decade.
If, due to policy restraints or funding cutbacks, the nation fails to meet CDC's HIV/AIDS prevention goals, an extra 130,000 people -- enough people to fill three baseball stadiums -- will become infected by 2010, said Holtgrave. That translates to an additional $18 billion the nation will have to spend. Preventing these infections would require an additional $300 million annually, he said.
"Prevention success is silent," said Julie Davids, executive director of the Community HIV/AIDS Mobilization Project and a Campaign to End AIDS steering committee member. That silence stems from people's reticence with respect to sex and drugs, both stigmatized topics. There is also silence about success in HIV prevention because its advocates lack the money of drug companies and policy groups, Davids said.
Windy City Times (Chicago)
10.12.2005; Amy Wooten
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