‘Plenty of Blame To Go Around’ in Continuing Spread of HIV/AIDS in U.S., Opinion Piece Says
There are "still some serious issues to tackle" when talking about HIV/AIDS in the U.S., and there is "plenty of blame to go around from [President Bush] to a small number of those with AIDS to everyone in between," Flavia Colgan, former chief of staff to Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. Catherine Baker Knoll (D) and a commentator on MSNBC, writes in an Allentown Morning Call opinion piece. Bush not only has been "absent" from HIV/AIDS prevention efforts in the U.S., he also has been "hurting efforts to fight the disease," Colgan writes, adding that Bush and Congress have "continually attempted to impose drastic cuts to Medicaid," which provides services to many HIV-positive patients, and have made spending reductions for Housing Opportunities for People with AIDS and the Ryan White CARE Act. She also says that there is a "subculture in the gay community that downplays the risks of dying of AIDS[-related complications], if not overtly encouraging risky sexual practices." She adds that some HIV-positive people believe that a cure will be available in their lifetime, which results in a "false sense of security" that leads to unprotected sex. Colgan also discusses a group of people living with HIV/AIDS called "gift givers," who try to spread the disease to willing HIV-negaitive people, known as "bug catchers." She concludes that despite World AIDS Day's acknowledgement of the severity of the problem, "[i]t's time that we as a nation remember that ... AIDS does not stop spreading ... because we had a successful day of rallies and ribbons" (Colgan, Allentown Morning Call, 1/24).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.