Oklahoman Publishes Five-Part Series on HIV/AIDS, Related Issues
The Oklahoman this week published a five-part series on HIV/AIDS issues. Summaries of articles in the series appear below:
- "Thousands of Oklahomans have died of AIDS": The Oklahoman on Sunday examined HIV/AIDS prevalence in the state. According to the state Department of Health, there are about 4,600 residents living with HIV/AIDS. However, there could be "thousands" more Oklahomans who remain undiagnosed, the Oklahoman reports (Gibbs Robinson/Killackey, Oklahoman, 6/13).
- "Programs offer relief, but funds still needed to treat sufferers": The Oklahoman on Monday examined state and not-for-profit programs that provide services to people living with HIV/AIDS. The state health department's HIV/STD Service each year disburses about $9 million in federal funds to treatment and prevention programs. The state also has programs that provide mental health services to HIV-positive residents (Gibbs Robinson/Killackey, Oklahoman, 6/14).
- "CarePoint counsels HIV-positive jobless": The Oklahoman on Tuesday examined workplace discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS in the state and programs aimed at helping to combat the stigma associated with the disease. The state Department of Rehabilitation Services contracts with private organizations to provide employment counseling and other services to HIV-positive Oklahomans. The department also maintains contracts with groups aimed at educating employers about HIV in the workplace (Gibbs Robinson/Killackey, Oklahoman, 6/15).
- "Medications help keep HIV-infected Oklahomans alive": The Oklahoman on Wednesday examined the increase in available HIV/AIDS treatments, including antiretroviral therapy. Currently, there are approximately 100 drugs to treat HIV/AIDS patients, and the number of medicines "probably will keep expanding," according to the Oklahoman . However, many of the treatments are expensive and have severe side effects. In addition, there is still no available HIV vaccine or cure (Gibbs Robinson, Oklahoman, 6/16).
- "Spreading another message": The Oklahoman on Thursday profiled various HIV/AIDS prevention programs in the state that target different populations, including African Americans, children and other people living with the disease. "We need to be aware this is killing us. We are all in danger," Rev. George Young, who is pastor of Oklahoma City's Holy Temple Baptist Church, said, adding, "Everybody ought to be tested -- I don't care what your chances are" (Gibbs Robinson/Killackey, Oklahoman, 6/17).
The Oklahoman this week also profiled Ryan White, a teenage HIV/AIDS advocate who died of AIDS-related complications on April 8, 1990. White's "heroic story" was the "impetus" for federal funding to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic as part of the Ryan White CARE Act, according to the Oklahoman (Killackey, Oklahoman, 6/14). In addition, the Oklahoman profiled an HIV-positive man in the state who has decided to delay antiretroviral treatment, "defying common wisdom that an untreated HIV infection is a short-term death sentence" (Gibbs Robinson, Oklahoman, 6/16). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.