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Elizabeth Boskey, Ph.D.

Obama's New HIV Policy

By July 14, 2010

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Yesterday, Obama announced his administration's new policy for reducing the impact of HIV on the U.S. The plan focuses on expanding testing as well as improving education and reducing inequalities in care.

One of the most interesting parts of the announcement, to me, was the President's focus on reducing the stigma associated with HIV infection. Many people are so afraid of a positive result that they don't get tested, which also means they can't be put into treatment. This, combined with inequities in access to care, exacerbates the health disparities that have led to a rate of HIV in African American women that is 20 times higher than that seen in their Caucasian counterparts.

It was good to hear the President acknowledge the need for us, as a nation, to reduce our judgment of people with HIV. I was particularly impressed by his call for community leaders to embrace everyone infected with the virus. I really do think that reducing discrimination is essential before we can hope for changes in the social structures that encourage the spread of this devastating disease.

Comments
July 29, 2010 at 10:36 pm
(1) Erin says:

I am in full agreement with the president that we need to reduce the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS, and getting tested is the key to reducing the spread of HIV. Check out http://www.TestMeSTD.com for access to affordable and confidential testing.

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