/ Policy

The nourishment AIDS patients need: People infected with HIV don’t just need medicine; they need the right food

“As we commemorate the 30th anniversary of World AIDS Day, there is much progress and good news to celebrate. Deaths from the disease and new HIV diagnoses in the U.S. have declined considerably: from nearly 42,000 in 1995 to 6,456 in 2015. Treatments like antiretroviral therapy and PrEP medication have made a tremendous impact in combating and preventing HIV. Life expectancies for those who receive medical care for the illness at a treatable stage face a far better prognosis than twenty or thirty years ago. However, there is still much work to be accomplished: 40,000 are still diagnosed every year and the incidence of HIV among younger people actually increased between 2010 and 2015.

A significant aspect of the fight against HIV in the U.S., for a long time, was the federal government’s refusal to treat the disease appropriately — like a true health crisis. The CDC offered nominal recognition in 1981, but it was not until close to a decade later that Congress passed the Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency (CARE) Act in 1990, which allocated $220 million in support and remains, to this day, the largest source of dedicated funding for HIV care and treatment. Pre-Ryan White, those of us helping friends and loved ones devastated by AIDS had to be resourceful.”

Read the rest of the World AIDS Day op-ed, written by our President & CEO Karen Pearl, in The New York Daily News.

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