WASHINGTON, Dec. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- The Human Rights Campaign released a
report card today reflecting the U.S.'s response to the HIV/AIDS pandemic to
mark World AIDS Day.
"The failing grade in prevention means thousands of needlessly infected
people," said HRC Political Director Winnie Stachelberg. "As we face a global
pandemic, our response to it isn't making the grade."
The first annual report card rates the U.S. government's response to the
HIV/AIDS crisis in four key areas: research; care and treatment; global AIDS;
"We need to aggressively pursue a coordinated and comprehensive approach
to stop this pandemic," said Stachelberg. "We must harness all possible
resources to prevent new infections, provide meaningful access to quality care
and treatment, boost research to find a cure, and address the global crisis.
It is important to note that there are many leaders who have courageously and
diligently championed HIV/AIDS issues. This report card does nothing to take
away from the good work that they have done. Rather, this assessment shows
that much critical work remains ahead for all of us."
* Prevention: F
There are still roughly 40,000 new infections each year in the United
States. Federal funding still cannot be used for comprehensive sex
education in schools, needle exchange programs, and other
scientifically-proven methods of preventing new infections. Candid
information about prevention is far too sparse. Recent initiatives
have shifted the prevention focus from "at risk" populations to those
who are already infected, hampering funding for many minority-focused
community-based organizations (CBOs).
* Care and Treatment: D
While new and innovative drugs are being developed and care is
improving among some sectors, vast numbers of individuals living with
HIV/AIDS have little or no access to care and treatment. Many states
have waiting lists for, or have significantly limited access to, drugs
through their AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAPs) and legislation to
permit states to cover individuals living with HIV under Medicaid is
stalled in Congress.
* Research: C
While necessary increases were provided to the National Institutes of
Health (NIH) for critical HIV/AIDS research over the past few years,
these increases have slowed down. In addition, science-based research
continues to be undermined, such as attempts to eliminate funding for
individual NIH studies and to limit the number of government employees
who can attend international research conferences.
* Global AIDS: C
It is encouraging to see policymakers from both parties acknowledge
the enormity of the HIV/AIDS pandemic and the necessity of crafting
and funding a global solution to this crisis. However, the results
have failed to match the rhetoric. The United States has promised to
generously fund global AIDS efforts yet has only committed a fraction
of the funds that were promised. Moreover, contributions to the
Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria have been
reduced, and the U.S. is exporting unproven abstinence-only-until-
marriage programs to Africa when these programs are of questionable
More information about HRC's work on HIV/AIDS can be found at
The Human Rights Campaign is the largest national lesbian, gay, bisexual
and transgender political organization with members throughout the country.
It effectively lobbies Congress, provides campaign support and educates the
public to ensure that LGBT Americans can be open, honest and safe at home, at
work and in the community.
SOURCE Human Rights Campaign