Report on HIV/AIDS in Southern U.S. Should ‘Serve’ as ‘Call to Action,’ Editorial Says
A recent report from the Southern AIDS Coalition should "serve as a call to action," a Columbia State editorial says, adding, "While many rightfully call on state and federal officials to provide more funding to pay for drugs, education and other resources to deal with this public health crisis, the epidemic won't be overcome by government funding and influence alone." According to the editorial, churches, communities and "individuals must help defeat this disease. People who engage in high-risk activities, including unprotected sex and [injection] drug use, must not only get tested but change their behavior." It also is "important for communities to combat the stigma attached to the disease so more people will feel free to seek help," the editorial adds.
HIV/AIDS "exacts a particularly high toll on the South because of high rates of poverty, unemployment and a lack of insurance," the editorial says, adding, "To help, the AIDS coalition advocates for more funding for prevention, testing, improving health care and addressing homelessness, mental illness and substance abuse." Individuals in "every community -- regardless of age, gender, race or socioeconomic status -- must do their part, whether it's getting tested or helping educate others, if this disease is to be brought to heel," the editorial concludes (Columbia State, 7/25).