Posts Tagged ‘strategy’
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.
Part 2 of 4 Part Series
“Through my illness I learned rejection. I was written off. That was the moment I thought, Okay, game on. No prisoners. Everybody’s going down. “
In this second part of this series, I want to talk about knowing your opponent. You need to see your opponent to understand their game plan. You need to know all about HIV and how it plays the game.
I know that you might say that living with HIV is no game, but what is a game anyway? Isn’t it some form of contest where there are opponents and rules that decide the winner? It is no different when your opponent is HIV and winning means living the healthiest life possible.
What is HIV’s strategy to win? It is a simple strategy of finding the CD4 cells in your immune system and using them to replicate. By destroying the ability of the infected cells to do their job in the immune system, your body then loses the ability to fight many infections. HIV is tricky and it changes its attack over time by mutating.
But your opponent has a weakness that can be exploited. If HIV is not able to replicate and mutate as often as it would like, it can be put into the corner. A combination of HAART drugs creates problems for HIV replication, keeps the HIV offspring low, and reduces the possibility of HIV mutating.
HIV also doesn’t like healthy living, good nutrition and a toned physique.
For every person in this fight, there is a unique game with its own special set of rules for your body. Your strategy to fight HIV requires you understanding your opponent and how it fights in your body.
Here are five ways to give you the edge in fighting HIV and in life:
Be real, be authentic, and be yourself. There is no way you can face your opponent with blinders on and no way to win this battle without being in focus. Too often people spend incredible amounts of energy trying to bend themselves into something they’re not or hide from the truth.
Shower your HIV team with honesty. Your team is your lifeline and they deserve your honesty in sharing this battle with you. Tell your HIV doc the truth about your habits and experiences so they can craft a strategy that can win. Be upfront with your support team about how you feel and what you need.
Take a sincere interest in HIV. You have got to understand it to fight it. Take the steps necessary to be the expert on your body and its response to HIV. Be the first to know what is happening and what your next steps should be.
Always be positive. Positive is more than a diagnosis in your life. It is easy to pile on to a complaint fest or add to the chorus of negativity on living with HIV. But you can be the standout who is focused on the positive outcome. It doesn’t just make your life easier; it makes your immune system healthier.
Recognize others. Don’t forget that you aren’t in this battle alone. Your team is with you and this includes caseworkers, doctors, therapists, family and friends. Let them know how much you value what they do for you and the sacrifices they make for you.