The goals of the 2011 National HIV Prevention Conference, which ends tomorrow in Atlanta, are clear: reduce HIV incidence and HIV-related health disparities, and improve the health of people living with HIV.
The conference was convened by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and co-sponsored by almost 40 HIV/AIDS patient advocacy organizations from all over the U.S. Conference organizers are also committed to helping achieve the goals of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy.
The National HIV/AIDS Strategy, launched last year by the Obama administration, has three primary goals:
- Reduce the number of people who become infected with HIV,
- Increase access to care and optimize health outcomes for people living with HIV, and
- Reduce HIV-related health disparities.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently issued a report that shows that the number of newly reported cases of HIV in the U.S. from 2006 through 2009 remained stable, but the data also shows an “alarming increase among young, black gay and bisexual men” that requires “urgent action.”
Florida Bureau of HIV/AIDS data shows that “1 in 42 Black Males, 1 in 63 Black Females, 1 in 113 Hispanic males, 1 in 438 Hispanic Females, 1 in 205 White Males, 1 in 1139 White Females were infected with HIV/AIDS in 2009.”
The Bureau’s 2009 HIV/AIDS report indicates that in 2008 Florida ranked third in the number of reported AIDS cases, and third among 38 states that reported HIV cases. The agency also reported that through 2010 (.pdf), the total number of people living with HIV and AIDS in Florida increased to about 98,000. The report also shows that through 2006, HIV incidence was by far highest among black men who have sex with men. The state Department of Health defines HIV incidence as the “number or proportion of new HIV infections within a specific population during a defined time period.”
Carl Schmid — deputy executive director of The AIDS Institute, based in Tampa and Washington, D.C. — recently said that the increase of new HIV infections “among gay men and other men who have sex with men, particularly among black gay men, is further evidence that our nation’s commitment to HIV prevention must be heightened.”