Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations
Thompson Proposes Joint U.S.-Caribbean Effort to Prevent Spread of HIV
HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson yesterday proposed creating a joint U.S.-Caribbean initiative to address the growing number of Caribbean immigrants with HIV/AIDS in New York City, Newsday reports. In Brooklyn, N.Y., 30% of the 10,000 residents with AIDS are from the Caribbean. According to the Pan American Health Organization, about 360,000 people in the Caribbean are infected with HIV. Yvonne Graham, executive director of the Caribbean Women's Health Association, said that many HIV-positive individuals travel back and forth from the Caribbean to New York "almost on a weekly basis." Thompson announced the proposal while visiting the Brooklyn-based Caribbean-American Family Health Center with Surgeon General David Satcher and Caribbean leaders as part of the U.N. General Assembly special session on AIDS. Thompson said, "What I'm trying to do is get a high-level confidence of leadership of the Caribbean countries with some people from my department to see how we can develop a better prevention, education and treatment program for people in the Caribbean." He suggested a "mini-U.N. AIDS conference" in the Caribbean as a "starting point," adding that he intended to establish programs under which U.S. doctors would work in the Caribbean to treat and prevent HIV. Graham asked Thompson to consider involving drug companies in his plan, saying that many people traveling between New York and the Caribbean are taking medication back to share with relatives because drugs are "scarce" in the Caribbean (Ramirez, Newsday, 6/27).
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