Texas: HIV a Deadly Problem, Dallas Advocates Say
December 6, 2007
On the eve of World AIDS Day, advocates gathered in Dallas to remind the community that the disease is still very much present.
"People have gotten into a mode of thinking that AIDS and HIV is no longer a problem," said Raeline Nobles, executive director of Dallas-based AIDS Arms. "What has happened is folks have not paid enough attention to this. Every time we do that ... infections rise and rise rather rapidly."
At Friday's "One Candle Lights the Way" event, former US Surgeon General Dr. Jocelyn Elders echoed that sentiment. "We can't be satisfied with where we are because we're not in a good place. We have to do whatever we can to stop this disease," she said, calling for more focused efforts on prevention and testing and for improved access to care.
According to the state's Department of Health Services, approximately 18,000 people in North Texas are living with HIV/AIDS. A change in federal funding that limits how much local agencies can spend on social services means waiting lists for such assistance are getting longer.
Steven Pace, executive director of Dallas-based AIDS Interfaith Network, said that loss of funding is being offset somewhat by private donations, which were up in the past year. "It has taken us years to get HIV/AIDS back to a priority status so people will contribute," said Pace, whose organization serves 1,700 area patients.
Dallas Morning News
12.01.2007; Eric Aasen
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.