United States ‘Asleep at Wheel’ on HIV/AIDS, Philadelphia Inquirer Editorial States
Citing CDC figures released this week at the XIV International AIDS Conference in Barcelona, Spain, that a majority of HIV-positive young gay and bisexual men in the United States are unaware of their HIV status and that 54% of new U.S. HIV infections occur among African Americans, a Philadelphia Inquirer editorial today states, "Clearly, education and prevention efforts have broken down, failing to reach a new generation" of people who could contract HIV. The editorial adds, "Also clearly, failure to fix the breakdown will lead to a rise in AIDS cases, especially among America's minorities." The Inquirer concludes, "America is falling asleep at the wheel on AIDS. And the deadly crash has already begun" (Philadelphia Inquirer, 7/9).
Newsday Recommends Renewed Sense of Urgency
A Newsday editorial today states that even though Americans' "sense of urgency [about HIV/AIDS] has dissipated," they need "to pay a lot more attention to what's going on at home," adding, "For all of America's preaching abroad about the need for effective AIDS prevention, it has failed to reduce its own HIV prevalence rate." The U.S. prevalence rate of 0.6% is "about the same" as it was in 2000 "and one of the highest among wealthy industrialized nations," the editorial states. According to Newsday, the "[b]ottom line" is that "[s]tates must dramatically step up their prevention and testing efforts" (Newsday, 7/9).
Newark Star-Ledger 'Laments' Federal Policy
A Newark Star-Ledger editorial today states that the UNAIDS report last week that found that up to 70 million people could die of AIDS-related causes by 2020 "make[s] President Bush's recent politicking on AIDS funding more lamentable than ever." Bush last month "intervened to stop a budding and potentially powerful bipartisan movement to substantially increase this country's contribution to the global AIDS fight," instead urging Congress to add "a miserly $100 million" to the U.S. contribution to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis, according to the Star-Ledger. The editorial concludes, "We can buy the world a better future than the U.N. figures predict. The United States does not have to do it alone. We do have to lead the way" (Newark Star-Ledger, 7/9).