Shift in HIV Incidence to Minority Populations Requires Shift in Prevention Efforts, Boston Globe Columnist Says
The shift in populations at high risk of contracting HIV -- from injection drug users and gay men to blacks and Latinos -- necessitates a renewed effort to disseminate "the message that safe sex can be a matter of life or death," Adrian Walker writes in his Boston Globe column. The ability of antiretroviral drugs to prolong the lives of HIV-positive people and the commitment of both President Bush and former President Clinton to fighting the disease is encouraging, he states. However, HIV/AIDS is "far from having gone away," and the virus is spreading among people "who do not consider themselves part of high-risk groups," Walker says. He notes the concern of some AIDS advocates that the recent focus on global AIDS could lessen the domestic commitment to fighting the disease, adding that advocates say that "we should make sure local needs continue to be addressed" while global funding is increased. Walker concludes with a quote from Darrell LeMar, director of prevention and community education at the AIDS Action Committee, who says that there is still a need to "destigmatize this [disease] and start talking about how anybody who isn't practicing safe sex is still at risk of HIV infection" (Walker, Boston Globe, 4/3).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.