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.
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.