Many people in the US will recall the aids epidemic of the 1980s. This was when many charities and organizations started to help those infected and to combat HIV transmission by providing Aids Prevention programs.
Despite strong efforts from many groups, HIV and AIDS prevention remain significant healthcare issues in the US. It is easy to overlook the national issue with global problems and funding sent to African projects.
There is a clear issue of financing in America and work to do AIDS prevention. Since the beginning of that epidemic, 675,000 people have died of AIDS-related illnesses in the country.
At the moment, there are 1.2 million living with it, and 1 in 8 may not even be aware.
There are certain groups of at-risk individuals in the US that need help from localized campaigns and programs.
HIV rates are clearly much higher in some areas of America than others. Also, there are clear differences between demographics.
First of all, HIV rates tend to be higher in southern states. Here there is 37% of the population but 44% of HIV patients.
The rates of infection also appear to be higher in African-American populations than white ones. This is particularly the case with men who have sex with men.
Other at-risk groups are young adults with poor sex education, drug users sharing needles and prisoners. Statistics suggest that while HIV prevalence in the general population in 0.5%, it is as high as 1.5% in detainees. This lack of support and education is problematic in AIDS prevention.
The ongoing issues in these key areas of AIDS prevention come down to a lack of funding, accessibility, and education.
The biggest concern with the rates of HIV-infections is the lack of access to vital treatment options. This population of 1.2 million HIV-positive individuals is eligible for PrEP treatment to reduce the risk of transmission.
The unfortunate truth here is that many do not receive it, with just 30,000 gaining prescriptions. Part of this is due to accessibility and funding.
The bigger concern is the fact that 34% of healthcare providers were not even aware that it was an option. There is a clear gap in the chain to fix here. In addition to this, there seems to a lack of AIDS prevention education in safe sex measures and drug use. Many young people engage in unprotected sex with no concern for HIV or STIs.
These problems highlight the need for important CDC programs and other charity efforts in AIDS prevention.
Government programs, charity efforts, and other projects are not limited to Sub-Saharan Africa. There are many communities in America in need of support and access to treatment too.
Many of these projects originate with the Centers for Disease Control. Key AIDS prevention initiatives here include the following.
“Doing It” is a campaign focusing on making HIV testing the norm in general healthcare. There is the idea that specialist HIV testing turns the procedure into an isolated, difficult issue.
Regular testing would decrease AIDS prevention concerns and improve testing rates. The slogan encourages everyone to get along. Campaign material is available in English and Spanish.
Know The Facts First:
While “Doing It” is a more generalized approach to HIV testing, “Know the Facts First” targets teenage girls. This AIDS prevention project uses tailor-made advice to guide and empower young women as they become sexually active.
Safe sex methods from the start and HIV education could reduce rates in young adults. This AIDS prevention campaign is also sponsored by the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health.
HIV Treatment Works:
The “HIV Treatment Works” message sounds like a simplistic one, but it is one that needs to reach a wider audience.
The aim is to arrive at those with a positive diagnosis that aren’t in treatment. Some may avoid help due to stigma or misconceptions on their options.
The more people treated, the better the chance of reducing HIV transmission.
Start Talking. Stop HIV:
The “Start Talking. Stop HIV” message is another that is blunt and proactive. The idea is simple: gay and bisexual men and other men who have sex with men need to talk about HIV.
They need to be able to discuss it as a community issue and to talk about HIV status with partners.
This approach could increase AIDS prevention awareness and testing rates in this vulnerable community.
We Can Stop HIV One Conversation At A Time:
This final CDC project works in a similar way with a focus on communication. This time the target is the Hispanics/Latino community.
Again, the aim is to get friends and couples to open up to the issue and the need for testing. Spanish-language resources are once again available here.
These CDC projects are not the only options available to HIV-positive individuals in need. There are also other organizations and non-profit groups providing support in AIDS prevention.
The AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) is an LA-based group that started in the wake of the local epidemic.
In the following decade, they grew to become the largest provider of HIV healthcare and support in the US and beyond.
They currently claim to help up to 500,000 individuals in 36 countries with AIDS prevention options, support, and fundraising schemes.
The Ryan White Program provides AIDS prevention support to those that cannot afford or access adequate HIV care. It does so via the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and HIV/AIDS Bureau (HAB).
The majority of funds go towards essential primary care in deprived cities and struggling community organizations.
The San Francisco AIDS Foundation works on a different level with localized, broad support in the San Francisco area. The aims here are to reduce new cases by 50%, provide access to proper care for all HIV-positive individuals and ensure everyone knows their status.
The breadth and scale of these AIDS prevention and treatment programs highlight the true extent of the problem in America.
The problem of HIV transmission and education in America is one that can see improvement. This is evident from the simplicity of the CDC training schemes and the core aims of improving access to treatment in deprived areas.
The problem is that there is still that clear gap between the uninformed patients and those providing the support.
With continued funding and support for AIDS prevention, hopefully, this gap will decrease, and transmission rates will fall further.