HRC Releases World Aids Day Report Card

'The failing grade in prevention means thousands of needlessly

infected people,' said HRC Political Director Winnie Stachelberg

Dec 01, 2004, 00:00 ET from Human Rights Campaign

    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;
 and prevention.
     "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