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Report: U.S.
lacks national AIDS plan

Report: U.S.
lacks national AIDS plan

Report says U.S. needs to improve HIV prevention, treatment, and care programs

A new report released to coincide with Monday's 25th anniversary of the world's first reported AIDS cases shows that on many fronts the United States is failing in its domestic HIV fight. The report, titled "HIV/AIDS Policy in the United States: Monitoring the UNGASS [United Nations General Assembly Special Session] Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS," shows that the United States lacks a comprehensive national plan that covers HIV prevention, treatment, and care, with clear targets that can be measured. Currently, half of the HIV-positive Americans who need antiretroviral treatment are not receiving it, and as many as half of all HIV patients do not receive consistent medical care. AIDS is continuing to have a devastating impact on communities of color, gay men, injection drug users, and the poor, according to the report. And new U.S. HIV infections continue at levels that have not dropped in more than a decade, according to the report.

"A quarter century into the epidemic we should recognize that the U.S. has had great successes in improving treatment and prevention, but we have failed to apply the considerable knowledge and expertise we have developed," said Chris Collins, author of the report, in a press statement. "The U.S. is the leader on AIDS science and funding, but we risk losing our credibility if we fall short on our commitment to fight the epidemic at home."

The Public Health Watch HIV/AIDS Monitoring Project, a program of the Open Society Institute, produced the report based on extensive consultation with experts and review of U.S. AIDS policy and outcomes. Its release coincides with the 25th anniversary of the pandemic and last week's United Nations high-level AIDS meeting.

The full report can be viewed online at www.publichealthwatch.info. (The Advocate)

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