Skip to comments.25 years later, and AIDS is still killing
Posted on 09/28/2007 6:18:05 PM PDT by SwinneySwitch
300 cases are estimated to be in Victoria area
Twenty-five years after AIDS was formally given a name, Texas and the rest of the country still fail to designate the money needed to prevent it and HIV, a Dallas representative said on Wednesday.
It's one reason why infection rates are on the rise, especially among women, Rep. Rafael Anchia, a Democrat, told the Dallas Urban League on Wednesday.
Anchia's remarks reverberated to Victoria, and to an area that's estimated to have more than 300 patients with HIV/AIDS.
"Despite the fact we've had 25 years of experience with this disease, something is wrong with how we're approaching it," Anchia said by phone, just hours after his speech. "Instead of seeing declines in infection rates, we've seen increases."
There are an estimated 1.2 million in the U.S. with HIV/AIDS, Anchia said. Almost 300,000 don't know they have it.
In Victoria, Hispanics are most at risk, a local health department manager said.
An additional 40,000 people a year are newly diagnosed with the illness nationwide, Anchia said. African American male teens and Hispanic females are most impacted.
"It's an issue of significance that's talked about too little," he said.
The representative presides over a Dallas district that is comprised primarily of minorities, a group, he said, that is made up largely of those with low incomes.
Like low-income groups in Victoria, such people often rely on free or subsidized health care.
"Federal funding has been cut, it seems, almost systematically so that fewer people are being tested for AIDS," Anchia said. "The federal dollars for testing serve low-income populations."
Paul Kelliher is the special services manager for the Victoria City-County Health Department. His staff received $114,000 in funding to counsel and test the first 1,500 people who walk through his doors over the next 16 months.
But they always need more funding, he said.
About 100 people in the seven-country Crossroads have been diagnosed HIV/AIDS, and the majority live in Victoria, Kelliher said.
But because others with HIV/AIDS have private insurance, or travel elsewhere for care, it's thought that number could be as great as 300.
Anchia believes this is disturbing, especially considering his remarks were also made on the one-year anniversary of recommendations made by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The CDC hopes to make HIV screening routine and voluntary, a normal part of medical practice.
So, why, after 25 years, hasn't HIV/AIDS testing become routine at doctors' offices and hospitals?
"I don't know," Kelliher said. "To me, it's just good, common sense. It's like going in to have your annual checkup."
Anchia said budgetary constraints, and the stigma of the illness, are part of the problem. Most don't worry about HIV/AIDS, and instead focus on heart health and cancer.
"We have not maintained the same focus on HIV and AIDS awareness and education as we had in the 1980s," he said. "But last year we spent $3.5 billion to tackle cancer over 10 years."
Gabe Semenza is a reporter for the Advocate. Contact him at 361-580-6519 or email@example.com, or comment on this story here.
I think you meant seven county Crossroads area, Gabe.
Money will do squat, if you'll pardon the expression.
AIDS is virtually 100% preventable. Doesn’t cost a dime, either.
How about the concept of keeping ones manhood out of the human orifice for getting rid of all the crap (literally) your body doesn't need.
People make choices.
Unfortunately, I think their solution involves free condoms for fifth graders and a gay awareness month.
Let me try to answer that. What good would testing do? The people who are determined to distribute aids and those who are anxious to get it will go about their business as normal (maybe that should be abnormal) without regard to test results. Now if those found with aids or HIV were to be isolated from the normal population I would support testing.
AIDS is Reagans fault /sarcasm
"AIDS" was originally called "GRID", which was an acronym for "Gay Related Immune Deficiency". It originally manifested itself in an extremely high rate of Kaposi's Sarcoma, an otherwise very rare skin cancer.
but it is not politically correct, and even discriminatory against some sexual preference codes to promote the preventative care that is guaranteed to remove it from society.
Funny thing, but this is the single most preventable disease there is. No drugs, No sex until marriage and remain monogamous.
If this prescription is followed one has reduced one's exposure to a minuscule risk. If society as a whole would promote this prescription, AIDS would be defeated in a generation, not to mention most venereal disease, bastard children, gang violence, the welfare crisis, and etcetera.
Like silly children we rebel against that which God has told us is good, that which we can see with our own eyes. Yet we go on despite that knowledge because sexual freedom must be protected at all costs.
I guess you all have forgotten what it is like to be a teenager in lust, thinking you will live forever and that nothing will hurt you. Crosses all lines, Christian and Buddhists, young and old, rich and poor.
Be careful before you make such prideful announcements - you may have to deal with it in your own families.
Why even have compassion on newborns?
A doctor, dentist or health worker can contract it from a patient.
People can get AIDS from a blood transfusion.
A person can go out and mess around ONE TIME and contract AIDS.
Guess you think people should be celebate Nuns or they deserve whatever happens to them.
Guess if you get heart disease from eating fast foods or a sedentary life style, or skin cancer from spending too much time at the beach etc etc, nobody should have any compassion for you either. Right.
Alternate headline: 25 years later and the fudgepacking continues unabated.
You wouldn't say that if you were one of the poor families in 3rd world countries being helped by US AIDS funds.
Money has produced meds that allow people with AIDS to live and remain productive and contributing members of society for many many years now.
Money has helped millions around the world including children left without parents because of this disease.
God bless George Bush and other world leaders who've had the compassion to contribute funds toward battling this disease around the world.
Kill one Typhoid Mary today or a million twenty years from now...
“Sit down and shut up” works pretty good.