Obama's First 100 Days and Barely Any Action on HIV/AIDS
Obama's action has been so pathetic that the AIDS Healthcare Foundation will begin airing this one minute ad (above) challenging the President to get a jump start in the area. You can personally voice your concern by visiting their website and sending a friendly message to the President. It's not totally true he's done nothing, though. He did launch "Act Against AIDS," which basically amounts to a flashy PR campaign touting prevention. And his decision to fund Stem Cell research may pay off in HIV/AIDS treatment, but it's hard to say when and how he'll take on the full issue in a direct way.
Of course, part of this problem may be that he hasn't yet been able to place a Secretary of Health and Human Services in office. Now, when Kathleen Sebelius is approved by Congress, her first order of business will likely be dealing with this pesky swine flu.
Luc Montagnier, who recently won the Nobel prize for discovering the virus, says that a therapeutic vaccine could be possible in three or four years with enough funding. Other possible treatments are being examined, but most could use a serious influx of cash. Meanwhile, many people with HIV struggle to afford the available treatments. The current cocktail of drugs, while quite pricey, elongate life, possibly to a natural span, while greatly reducing the chance of transmission (better care is entwined with prevention).
Underlining the need for better access to treatment, and more advancements is that it was reported this month that 3% of residents in Washington, DC, the nation's capitol no less, are living with HIV/AIDS. The highest incidence of the virus in a city was previously thought to be, you guessed it, right here in Miami. Approximately 1.5% of our population has been reported to be infected.
It may be unfair to nitpick at a president's first 100 days, but this is an issue that has been asked to wait too often for too long.