Crossing Borders: Global AIDS
It's finally happening. After years of pressure from people with HIV and AIDS activists around the world, treatment is becoming available to those living in poor countries. Though access is still limited -- only 24% of the nearly seven million people who need HIV meds can get them, far less than accepted international goals -- these numbers were unthinkable just a few years ago. We are grateful for private funding sources, including the Clinton and Gates foundations, for developing and supporting workable, community-based solutions to treatment delivery over the long term. Good things are also being done by local organizations such as New York City-based Aid for AIDS in recycling medications, as discussed in an article by Roberto Perez.
As widely reported in the press, a major focus of the recent international AIDS conference in Toronto was delivering on the promise to provide treatment and eliminating key impediments to doing so, such as the absence of trained health care workers in many nations where treatment is needed most urgently. Brook Baker writes in this issue about the shortage of health care workers and what we in the U.S. can do to help.
And other obstacles remain. In this issue, people on the front lines of the battle to provide treatment to everyone who needs it describe the numerous challenges that continue to frustrate current efforts. No one escapes their eye: governments, individuals, drug companies, traditional healers, people with HIV themselves. But we recognize that all of these stakeholders must participate in the development of solutions for the nearly 40 million people living with HIV worldwide.
Located in New York City, where more than 800,000 residents came originally from other countries, ACRIA is also sharply aware of the problems immigrants with HIV face. With increasingly harsh immigration proposals before the Congress, these problems can only multiply. For this issue, we asked experts in the fields of immigration and asylum for people with HIV to write about the arduous application process, and whom they can turn to for help. Fiona McKinnon and Ellen Kemp discuss what happens when those living with HIV cross (or attempt to cross) the U.S. border and why that should matter to all of us.
Daniel Tietz is Editor-in-Chief of ACRIA Update.
This article was provided by AIDS Community Research Initiative of America. It is a part of the publication ACRIA Update. Visit ACRIA's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.