‘New Voices and Community Leadership’ on HIV/AIDS Prevention ‘Urgently’ Needed in United States, Opinion Piece Says
Although more than one-third of U.S. residents believe HIV/AIDS is the "most urgent health problem facing the world today," concern about the epidemic in the United States "has been falling," Dr. Harold Jaffe, a professor in the department of public health at the University of Oxford in England who previously worked on HIV/AIDS issues at CDC, writes in an opinion piece in Science magazine. Although the wider availability of antiretroviral drug therapy makes some of the decreasing concern "understandable ... there are still reasons for concern," Jaffe says. "[M]ajor challenge[s]" include increasing the number of people who are aware of their HIV status; reducing "ongoing high-risk behavior" among men who have sex with men; and reducing the rates of infection among African Americans, particularly women and youth, according to Jaffe. To address these challenges, "new voices and community leadership to support HIV prevention are urgently needed," Jaffe says, concluding, "Americans should be proud that their country is now fully engaged in the global fight against HIV/AIDS. At the same time, however, we must ask ourselves why we, collectively, don't care more about the domestic epidemic" (Jaffe, Science, 8/12).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.