CDC Findings Highlight Need for Renewed HIV/AIDS Awareness Efforts, Editorial Says
"The latest CDC [HIV/AIDS] study highlights the need for renewed public health campaigns, quicker FDA approval of rapid tests (which are currently being used in Europe) and enhanced funding for drug assistance programs. But more than anything, the study highlights the need for people to take responsibility for their own behavior," a Santa Rosa Press Democrat editorial states. The CDC reported last week that 25% of Americans who are infected with HIV are unaware of their condition, and among those who know that they are HIV-positive, nearly one-third are not getting treatment. These findings are a "testament to stupid behavior," the editorial states, noting that it "defies logic that people are still risking their lives" by engaging in high-risk activities such as unprotected sex and injection drug use with unsterile needles. The editorial also criticizes people for not being regularly screened for HIV and for not seeking treatment if they are HIV-positive. The Press Democrat notes that treatment regimens are expensive, "complex" and may be accompanied by "unpleasant" side effects. "But, let's face it, there is no side effect worse than death -- and nothing more complicated," the editorial concludes, noting that the government provides assistance with purchasing antiretroviral drugs in many states (Santa Rosa Press Democrat, 3/4).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.