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Sun Dec 1, 2019, 10:22 AM

Elizabeth Warren: World AIDS Day reminds us of this


Since the 1980s, 75 million people have been diagnosed with HIV around the world, and approximately 32 million have died. And while we have made incredible strides toward ending the epidemic, HIV and AIDS remain a public health crisis. Nearly 38 million people live with the virus today, including more than 1 million in the United States -- with a higher prevalence among LGBTQ+, Black and Latinx communities, where people often face multiple systemic barriers to accessing the care they need.

Thanks to medical advancements in recent years, individuals who receive antiretroviral treatment have life expectancies that are near average. But for those without access to life-saving medication, the prognosis is quite different.

People living with HIV have historically faced a number of barriers to accessing care due to pre-existing conditions, restrictive eligibility requirements and high costs from insurance companies. Communities of color also have to contend with systemic racism when it comes to accessing health care and other services.

We need more than words on paper to combat this virus. We need a government-wide approach that prioritizes comprehensive services including housing, mental health care and robust support for community health centers. We need to repeal laws and regulations that discriminate against or even criminalize people living with HIV. We need policies that lift up communities affected by the virus here at home, and support countries and people struggling under the weight of the epidemic around the world. Only then will we achieve the goal of a world free of AIDS.

More at the link.

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