Log Cabin Republicans Call for a National Strategy to Combat Growing U.S. HIV Epidemic

New Centers for Disease Control Numbers Confirm Alarming Spike in HIV Rates

August 4, 2008 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Blogger Tumblr

(Washington, DC) – Log Cabin Republicans call for a national strategy to combat the growing HIV/AIDS epidemic in the United States. New numbers from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) confirm an alarming spike in new HIV cases in the U.S. - up 40% from previous estimates.

"It is inexcusable for the U.S. not to have a national plan to address this ongoing crisis," said Log Cabin Republicans President Patrick Sammon. "The U.S. won't give PEPFAR money to any country without a National Strategy for combating HIV/AIDS, yet we don't have a plan in our country. That's not right."

"These new numbers make it clear that our nation's efforts to control the spread of HIV in the U.S. have failed," said Log Cabin's Healthcare Policy Adviser Dr. David Reznik. "Too many men and women in their twenties are coming to my clinic with advanced HIV disease. In many ways, it seems as if it is 1988 all over again," said Reznik, who is the founding director of the Grady Health System Infectious Disease Program Oral Health Center.

The revised CDC estimates, which were officially released on August 2nd in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), show approximately 56,000 new cases of HIV each year. That is a 40% increase over the previous estimate of 40,000 new cases per year. Based on new surveillance data, the CDC also says that for the past 15 years the annual number of new cases is actually 25% - 50% higher than previously thought.

President George W. Bush recently signed a sweeping global AIDS bill-the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). "At a time when the U.S. is courageously doing so much to help those with HIV/AIDS around the world, we are losing the battle in our own backyard," said Reznik. "Despite the attention paid to the epidemic globally, the U.S. itself does not have a national strategy to combat the disease in our own country. That is simply unacceptable and every American should pressure our political leaders to address this."