Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Worst Kept Non-Secret in Public Health

by David Ernesto Munar

We may never know whether this delay is due to legitimate scientific concerns, deliberate suppression or both. But with every month of delay, the CDC is missing opportunities to sound a much-needed alarm to those who have allowed inadequate funding and ill-advised policy to perpetuate high rates of HIV transmission.

Since the fall of last year, rumors have been circulating that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will release revised statistics indicating that the number of people living with HIV in the United States is actually higher than previously reported. Some say the number could be as much as 50 percent higher. But, nearly three-quarters of a year later, there is still no indication of when we might see a new report documenting the likely number of HIV infections occurring each year in America. David Ernesto Munar, a vice president at the AIDS Foundation of Chicago and chairman of the board of the National Association of People with AIDS, writes the following piece in response to the CDC’s continued silence on the matter.

For more than a year, U.S. federal officials have attempted—sometimes in vain—to quell rumors that the number of new HIV infections in the United States is on the rise. The Washington Blade first broke the story in November 2007, reporting that the CDC was poised to raise the official estimate for the number of HIV infections believed to occur in the United States to a range as high as 58,000 to 63,000 per year—a greater than 50 percent increase over the current estimate of 40,000 annual HIV infections.

By December 2007, World AIDS Day media coverage in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Bloomberg News, The Associated Press and other outlets amplified the leaks. They also described growing frustration among AIDS community advocates with delays in making the important research findings public.

Read the rest on POZ here.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...