National Medical Association Calls On Government To Tackle HIV/AIDS

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The National Medical Association-- which represents 30,000 black physicians in the U.S. and othercountries -- has called on the government to tackle HIV/AIDS, NMAPresident Albert Morris said at the association's annual Convention andScientific Assembly, which is being held this week at the Hawaii Convention Center, the Honolulu Star-Bulletin reports.


About70% of HIV/AIDS cases diagnosed between 2001 and 2005 were among blackwomen, and about 49% of people living with the disease in the U.S. areblack, Morris said, adding, "We issued a call of action to the federalgovernment to re-examine this terrible, terrible epidemic." Accordingto Morris, efforts against the disease are hindered because mostHIV-positive people have the virus for about five years before beingdiagnosed. "There's a huge opportunity for them to infect lots of otherpeople before they find out they have the disease," Morris said,adding, "Most people are responsible once they know they have thevirus, but, if they don't know, they may be engaging in high-riskbehavior." The association previously passed a resolution urginguniversal HIV testing among all U.S. residents seeking health careservices, Morris said.

In addition, Morris said that prisonsshould provide inmates with HIV tests before their release because ofthe higher number of HIV cases among inmates compared with the generalpopulation. HIV/AIDS is among one of the major issues being discussedby the more than 4,000 delegates attending the conference. Otherdiscussion topics included universal health care and medical schoolfinancing, the Star-Bulletin reports (Altonn, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 8/27).

Reprinted with permission from You can view theentire Kaiser DailyHIV/AIDS Report, search the archives, and sign up for email delivery at . TheKaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report is published for, a free service ofThe Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

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