Legacy Community Health Services Applauds Obama Administration’s Comprehensive National HIV/AIDS Strategy
HOUSTON?Legacy Community Health Services applauds the release of the nation’s first strategy to address the domestic HIV/AIDS epidemic. The strategy sets three aggressive goals to combat the epidemic: reduce new HIV infections; increase access to care for people living with HIV/AIDS and optimize health outcomes; and reduce HIV-related health disparities. It also addresses the social factors such as stigma and discrimination that contribute to vulnerability to HIV infection and poor health outcomes.
“President Obama, as part of his campaign for President, promised the nation that he would develop such a strategy,” stated Katy Caldwell Executive Director of Legacy Community Health Services. “We thank the President for taking a critical step forward with the creation and release of a national strategy to deal with the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The Strategy relies on sound science and includes measurable goals, timelines, and accountability mechanisms. However, this strategy must be followed by sound and coordinated implementation with adequate, targeted funding to carry out the plans and meet the goals it establishes.”
More than 575,000 Americans have lost their lives to AIDS since the first cases of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) garnered the world’s attention nearly thirty years ago. Each year more than 56,000 people in the United States become infected with HIV. Currently, there are more than 1.1 million Americans living with HIV. In Texas there are over 63,000 individuals living with HIV and roughly 4,500 new cases each year.
“Legacy calls on Congress to meet the immediate and long-term challenges in the U.S. fight against the epidemic as described in the Obama Administration’s newly released HIV/AIDS Strategy for the U.S.,” stated Caldwell. “Federal decision-makers must use current resources more efficiently but at the same time realize the desperate need for increased funding in prevention and treatment.”