March 21, 2011
Here is a quick look at a few HIV/AIDS stories recently reported in the media:
Not Enough HIV Docs in the U.S. (From HealthDay News)
Despite one million people living with HIV/AIDS in the U.S., a new report has observed that there are not enough qualified HIV care providers in this country to meet the needs of the community. The Institute of Medicine (IOM), an independent, nonprofit organization, outlined these concerns in a report sponsored by the White House Office of National AIDS Policy.
HealthDay News reported:
Given the widening gap between HIV-care supply and demand, the report emphasizes the need for health-care provider flexibility, in order to overcome the constraints under which many providers labor.
For example, the report authors say that collaboration across facilities should be encouraged, in order to better allocate and share sparse resources among multiple providers. However, at times such task-sharing may run afoul of state regulations, which can limit the ability of providers to share caseload responsibilities.
On one hand, this news is incredibly bothersome that as we enter the thirtieth year of this epidemic, we don't have enough doctors who are knowledgeable in HIV. Yet, it's also somewhat of a relief to know that the White House understands the immense importance of how quality medical care and the crumbling state of our current health care system are going to play a crucial role in achieving the goals set in the National HIV/AIDS Strategy.
New Eco-Friendly Condom Line Promotes Female Empowerment (From The Green Prophet)
While working for The Red Cross in Africa, South East Asia and the Middle East, photojournalist Talia Frenkel's was taken aback by the lack of access to condoms and the unhealthy lubricants that were added to the condoms that women were given. Those experiences prompted her to create the condom company, Love Begins with L, which sells condoms that are made with a glycerin-free and paraben-free lubricant. A portion of the profits fund reproductive health programs and other grassroots organizations in the developing world.
The Green Prophet reported:
Frenkel explains how her "camera quickly became my passport to places that I might otherwise have never had cause to visit," including the Middle East where she documented tsunamis, earthquakes, fires and floods for the Red Cross. She became keenly aware of the destruction of HIV/AIDS to women and girls while working in Africa. "My assignments documenting the effects of this epidemic left me with an anger that I needed to channel in a productive way. Everyday, countless lives were lost for lack of something that I could buy in any western convenience store."
There seems to be trend in condom lines popping up for a cause. This February, two African-American men from Morehouse College started up a new condom line, b condoms, to promote condom use in the black community.
South Carolina's Scary ADAP Crisis (From The State)
With 7,400 residents living with AIDS and a 700 million dollar state budget deficit, the state of South Carolina has an ADAP (AIDS Drug Assistance Programs) crisis on its hands.
The State reported:
South Carolina currently spends $16.8 million in federal money and $1.9 million in state funds on the AIDS Drug Assistance Program. The state funds are part of the current budget year, which ends June 30.
Still, the money is not enough to meet the demand.
In 2008 and 2009, the state added $2.4 million in one-time money to reduce the waiting list, and a recent boost in federal money also added more people to the program.
But the state portion of the program budget was cut 60 percent in 2010, and the waiting list is again growing longer.
It's no secret that ADAP waiting lists are back in full effect across the country. And it's scary, because as states are facing massive deficits, we have a GOP leadership that believes that reducing the amount of spending on social services is the answer. Only time will tell how of all this will play out nationally.
Kellee Terrell is the former news editor for TheBody.com and TheBodyPRO.com.
Copyright © 2011 The HealthCentral Network, Inc. All rights reserved.