Thursday, December 01, 2011

World AIDS Day -- US is behind the 8-ball

On World AIDS Day, CNN has a report on ADAP, the AIDS Drug Assistance Program, and the long waiting lists in some states, such as Florida.  In other states, like Ohio, the waits are shorter because the qualifications are more restrictive. 

CNN’s link is here.  

The Syracuse newspaper blog discusses a CDC contention that the US is lagging some other advanced countries in anti-HIV treatment, and , among the 1.2 million people in the US infected, only about 28% have the virus stopped and in full remission.  Here’s their link.

Treatment typically costs about $50000 a year. But side effects (including skeletal muscle deterioration and the “protease paunch”) have become much more manageable in recent years. Many HIV-infected people stay at work indefinitely, sometimes for decades, and others cannot know they are infected unless they are told. 

In the meantime, the shift in attention for care shifts from PWA’s (as in the 1980s and 90s) to the elderly, particularly those with Alzheimers, with unmarried or childless people, often LGBT, doing much of the caregiving. Alzheimer’s is the next gigantic public health problem on the horizon. 

PWA’s, as well as people on chemotherapy or the very elderly, could be at additional danger because of an increasing trend among parents not to vaccinate children.

Dec. 1, World AIDS Day, marks the beginning of meteorological winter; but in the northeast (as well as LA with the Santa Ana winds) a warm autumn continues.  It’s not very Christmas-looking.

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