Impact of HIV/AIDS on Southern States Focus of Kaiser Family Foundation-, NASTAD-Sponsored Conference
The impact of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases on the South, which is the region estimated to have the largest number of people living with AIDS in the United States, will be the focus of a conference in Charlotte, N.C., that starts today and is sponsored by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors. State AIDS directors, legislators, federal health officials and community advocates are expected to attend the conference, titled "Southern States Summit on HIV/AIDS & STDs," and will discuss federal, state and local funding and programs available to people affected by HIV/AIDS who live in Southern states. Former Surgeon General David Satcher will deliver the keynote address tomorrow. As part of the conference, the foundation prepared a background report highlighting the impact of HIV/AIDS in the Southern United States. The report, titled "HIV/AIDS and other Sexually Transmitted Diseases in the Southern Region of the United States: Epidemiological Overview," found that the estimated number of new AIDS cases rose in the South between 2000 and 2001, while the number of new AIDS cases declined or stabilized in other U.S. regions. Also for the conference, the foundation released a report, titled "Sources of Coverage and Care for People with HIV/AIDS in the United States: Assessing Coverage in Southern States," that examined the financing and programs available to people living with HIV/AIDS in the region. Drew Altman, president and CEO of the foundation, said that while HIV/AIDS "remains a critical health concern" for the country, it is "especially troubling for the Southern region" (Kaiser Family Foundation/NASTAD release, 11/8). The two reports, as well as more information on the conference, is available online.
A kaisernetwork.org HealthCast of selected sessions of the summit will be available online after 5 p.m. ET on Monday, Nov. 18.