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Medical News

AIDS Confab Highlights Progress, Needs in U.S.

November 6, 2009

HIV/AIDS funding, treatment, care, and prevention were among topics discussed last week at the 2009 U.S. Conference on AIDS in San Francisco.

On Oct. 30, attendees applauded as they watched video of the White House ceremony in which President Barack Obama signed the reauthorization of the Ryan White CARE Act and announced plans to end the 22-year-old ban on travel to the United States by non-nationals with HIV.

Lifting the ban was "long, long overdue," said Jesse Fry of the Florida HIV/AIDS Advocacy Network. Taking the step concurrently with renewing Ryan White "shows the White House's commitment to fighting HIV/AIDS in America," he said. Fry added, however, that he would like to see the act funded "commensurate with the severity of the disease."

Kathy Pearson of the Syracuse Model Neighborhood Facility in New York also praised the president's actions but said she would like to see more done to reduce anti-AIDS stigma so people "are more comfortable knowing about their HIV status."

At a plenary session entitled "New Frontiers in HIV: Issues for Today's Leaders," speakers included Derek Spencer, director of the JACQUES Initiative at the University of Maryland School of Medicine's Institute of Human Virology. Spencer noted that death rates have fallen dramatically since the epidemic's early years, and many patients are now living long enough to experience health problems typical of advancing age. Therefore, he said, there is a need to address "truly living with HIV" by encouraging patients to take steps such as eating healthy diets and not smoking.

The conference was sponsored by the National Minority AIDS Council.

Back to other news for November 2009

Adapted from:
Bay Area Reporter (San Francisco)
11.05.2009; Seth Hemmelgarn

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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.
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