Washington, D.C., To Launch HIV/AIDS Prevention Ad Campaign in Response to Report
An advertising campaign to encourage HIV/AIDS testing and prevention will be launched in Washington, D.C., Mayor Adrian Fenty said on Wednesday while responding to a report on the epidemic in the district, the Washington Post reports. The report, which was released by the D.C. Appleseed Center for Law and Justice, said improvements were made specifically in the HIV/AIDS testing, education and needle-exchange programs. The report also found that the city is not doing enough to increase public awareness of the epidemic. Fenty said Wednesday that there have been "some setbacks, some things we could've done better in the past 20 months or so" (Dvorak, Washington Post, 9/25).
The report was the fourth since Appleseed began tracking the district's HIV/AIDS rate in 2005. In comparison to the last Appleseed report, which was issued in December 2007, the district received several improved grades. Routine HIV testing went from a B-plus to an A-minus, as did needle-exchange services; substance use treatment went from C-plus to B; and HIV/AIDS education in public schools went from D to C. Despite the improvements, however, the report said that the district "must take aggressive action to address the remaining obstacles to rolling back the epidemic." The Appleseed Center urged Fenty to implement a broad public awareness campaign, particularly in churches, to reduce the stigma associated with the disease (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 9/24).
According to the Post, one out of every 50 D.C. residents is thought to be living with HIV/AIDS (Washington Post, 9/25).