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Commentary & Opinion
Routine Testing "Imperative" in Fighting HIV/AIDS Epidemic in U.S., Editorial Says

April 20, 2009

"The AIDS epidemic is spreading faster than previously thought, even as the American public's concern about it declines," a New York Times editorial says, adding, "That dangerous disconnect underscores the urgency of a new campaign announced by the Obama administration to combat complacency about the disease and its potential to strike the unwary." According to the editorial, complacency regarding HIV/AIDS in the U.S. "may reflect a belief that AIDS is primarily a problem in Africa, or a feeling that AIDS has become treatable, so why worry about infection."

"Mere awareness won't be enough to curb the epidemic," the editorial says, adding, "More than a million people in this country are infected with the virus, and 20% of them don't know it. Their ignorance jeopardizes their own health and increases the risk that they will spread the virus to others." According to the editorial, it is "imperative that testing for the virus become routine among all those likely to be at risk." It adds that the "Bush administration achieved notable success in boosting American support for the fight against AIDS overseas." The editorial concludes that "President Obama should build on that legacy abroad while also shrinking the size of this country's epidemic" (New York Times, 4/20).

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