Kelly's Blog

Americans don’t think HIV is an urgent health problem…

Posted in Community, News on Tuesday, July 13th, 2010 by Kelly - 8 Comments


The HIV/AIDS national strategy released by the White House today said that most Americans no longer view HIV as an urgent health problem. 

Those of us who deal with this every day know the costs and the pain of HIV.

Not being viewed as an urgent health problem concerns me because we have to be front and center when it comes time for the appropriation of federal funds. It is a lot harder to compete with dollars that could be spent on cancer or obesity – two health problems that Americans do view as pressing.

President Obama announced some new initiatives to cut new infections, increase the number of people who get tested and treated, and reduce the disparities in access to HIV care. These include goals to be reached by 2015:

•Reduce new HIV infections by 25% to 42,225 from about 56,300.

•Cut the rate of the virus’ spread by 30%, from 5 people a year infected by every 100 living with HIV to 3.5 per 100.

•Increase from 79% to 90% the percentage of HIV-positive people who know they’re infected with the virus.

• Increase the percentage of people newly diagnosed with HIV who get treatment within 90 day to 85% (35,078), from 65% today (26,824).

But the President didn’t announce any new funding to pay for these goals.

At a time when we are struggling with how to pay for the people on the ADAP waiting lists, it is hard to envision how we will pay for the federal government efforts to reach these goals. Let’s be honest here, there is a huge federal deficit and an economy that is not going to generate the kind of tax revenues that will support additional spending.

The only answer is that each one of us in the HIV community must redouble our efforts to get the word out and keep it out there. We’ve got to talk, walk, sing, and even dance to share how HIV is spread and how it can be treated.

We can make these goals, but we each need to make them our own.

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8 Responses to “Americans don’t think HIV is an urgent health problem…”

  • Carrie Ann says:

    Kelly, I will be right there with you. Now is not the time to take our eyes off the ball. We can’t expect the gov to be the only voice here!

  • [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jim Swimm and Kelly Markell. Kelly Markell said: Hope your reading my new blog post on National HIV/AIDS Strategy. Tell me your thoughts on these critical #HIV issues! [...]

  • DanielWKU says:

    The goals which were determined sound really impressing, but if there are no funds….. I think for us it´s time to sing and dance more than ever before to show the spreading of HIV and AIDS.
    Greetings from South Africa, Daniel.

  • admin says:

    Sorry about the RSS feed problem. Here is the correct link:

  • Sy says:

    I agree with you Kelly. It’s unfortunate many do not care until it directly affects them. There are millions of people who are affected by AIDS/HIV to this day. We have many places in which you can go for HIV Testing for free which is awesome!! But, to have to be put on a waiting list for medicaton after finding you’ve tested positive is simply a slow death sentence. I commend you on your efforts giving this issue the attention it deserves.And I urge everyone to do their part NOW!

  • Marty says:

    Can’t agree with you more! We try to teach our kids that we must only promise to do what we can do. Somehow we adults miss the mark.

    Thanks for your great work and inspiring thoughts.

  • John Nagley says:

    In as much as I agree that we must keep the message alive and in the public eye. I also believe that it is time for each individual to fully understand that they are ultimately responsible for their own health care and to come up with a plan to effectively manage a response to their indivudal needs. It has been a gift that the fereral gov’t has provided support for the years they have and I hope on some front they continue but, the problem is far greater than cuts coming from the Feds. What contribution can be expected from the drug companies, why are they allowed to continue to reap the fortunes they do from the outrages prices that are charged for the drugs they produce. This is not an attack on the drug companies; simply another path to seek answers to the questions.

  • admin says:


    I agree with your comments about the drug companies. The key to effective management of HIV progression is ready access to ARV drugs. This drug cocktail is very expensive for insurers and the federal government alike. It is quite telling that the cost for these same drugs is less than half in third world countries.

    It is hard to say who or how we can regulate prices in an open market. Obviously, demand in there.

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