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The key issues reflect sound evidence based public policy necessary to end the epidemic and maintain quality of life for all affected.
- HIV and Aging is an issue that will only increase in relevance, as more than half of people living with HIV in the US will be over 50 by 2015. More research and targeted prevention are needed to fully understand the impact of HIV on older adults. Click here to read GMHC’s report on HIV and aging.
- The prevalence of HIV/AIDS in US correctional facilities is over four times the rate in the general population, and is even higher for female prisoners. The federal government must take swift action to improve access to preventive services, education and treatment in jails and prisons, while stopping sexual abuse and harassment of prisoners. Criminal justice policies that fuel mass incarceration must also be reformed, in order to stop the destabilization of intimate relationships that make certain communities significantly more vulnerable to HIV infection. Click here to download FENCED IN: HIV/AIDS in the US Criminal Justice System (PDF).
- Men are currently banned from blood donation in the US if they have had sex with another man, even once, since 1977; however, someone who knowingly had unprotected sex with someone of the opposite sex who is HIV-positive is eligible to donate after one year. This policy risks misinforming the general public about HIV/AIDS. Blood donation policies must be reformed to allow low-risk gay and bisexual men to donate, while improving blood safety and promoting better public health messaging. Click here for more information.
- The National HIV/AIDS Strategy was released in July 2010 by the Obama Administration’s Office of National AIDS Policy. This document goes a long way in recognizing the changing face of the epidemic, addressing the disparities in HIV infection rates and access to treatment in vulnerable communities, and seeking an end to structural drivers of the epidemic. Implementation plans for federal agencies have been written, and we urge swift and nuanced action to ensure the Strategy becomes a reality as soon as possible.
- Comprehensive Sex Education is a critical prevention method proven to help youth make safer sex decisions. It is critical that Congress continue to completely defund abstinence-only-until-marriage programs which have been proven ineffective and are actually damaging to young Americans’ sexual health, and instead direct scarce federal dollars toward evidence-based prevention education. Sex education should also be informative and affirming of LGBT students in order to strike at some of the worst structural drivers of the epidemic, stigma and silence.
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