Iowa Governor Says Anthrax Worries Should Not Supplant Concerns Over HIV/AIDS
Concerns about anthrax should not "pus[h] aside" the fight against HIV/AIDS, Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack (D) said Tuesday during a speech at Iowa's fourth annual HIV/AIDS Conference, the Des Moines Register reports. "It will do no good for us to deal with the national threat of anthrax if we do not also deal with the international threat of AIDS," he added. Iowa had 1,025 reported HIV/AIDS cases as of Sept. 30, the first time that the state has recorded more than 1,000 cases since it began tracking the disease in the 1980s. In 2000, 70% of Iowans with a new HIV diagnosis received an AIDS diagnosis within six months of the HIV diagnosis, and 58% of Iowans diagnosed with HIV in 2000 received an HIV and an AIDS diagnosis at the same time. Randy Mayer, coordinator of HIV/AIDS surveillance for the state, said that these statistics indicate that people are not getting tested until long after they have contracted HIV. Mayer added that the triple-drug antiretroviral cocktail is "wearing out" and that "a new drug or solution for AIDS" is needed (Okamoto, Des Moines Register, 10/24).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.