November 21, 2009

November 21, 2009
Voluntary Screening for HIV/AIDS

Thanks for joining me in another day of my life. Today is Saturday and I do not know about you but it was a very long, tiring week for me. So I am glad the weekend is here. I hope you are having a safe and great one so far.

I spoke with a close friend yesterday who is continuing to have heart problems. She recently had another heart attack and is waiting on her new heart surgeon to schedule open heart surgery. Now it is amazing she can even have another surgery since she has already had three open heart surgeries. But luckily, technology has improved to where they can hopefully keep her with us a few more years. She is also diabetic which does not help her condition but she is a fighter and not ready to go yet. So please keep her in your thoughts and prayers. Her name is Diane.

Last evening, I attended the National AIDS Policy meeting by Jeff Crowley in Ft. Lauderdale Florida. Jeff is the AIDS Czar for President Obama. Jeff and I have met three times this year on HIV/AIDS issues. There were about 200 people in attendance. Each speaker was given one and a half minutes to speak and I was one of about 70 who spoke during the event. Since many common issues were addressed I used my time to address the issue of ADAP Waiting Lists in our country. Luckily I did because I was the only person to address the issue.

Today, I will be talking about voluntary screening for HIV/AIDS and other STIs.

Today, Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-Miramar) introduced the Increasing Access to Voluntary Screening for HIV/AIDS and STI’s Act of 2009, a bill that will reduce the spread and morbidities associated with HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

“Fifty percent of sexually active Americans will contract an STI at some point in their life. However, stigma, culture, language, lack of education, cost, limited resources, and inaccurate perceptions of risk contribute to insufficient screening for HIV/AIDS and STIs. These same factors have exacerbated the instances of transmission and late detection of HIV/AIDS and STDs over the past decade,” noted Hastings.

The Increasing Access to Voluntary Screening for HIV/AIDS and STIs Act of 2009 takes an aggressive and multifaceted approach to combating HIV/AIDS and STIs by increasing access to voluntary screening and other preventative methods while preserving patient rights and confidentiality. The bill also makes screening and other preventative services more accessible to groups that have been historically underrepresented in public health interventions for HIV/AIDS and other STIs.

“Voluntary and routine screening for HIV/AIDS and other STIs is an effective and low-cost approach to decreasing the life-threatening and life-altering effects of these infections. The Increasing Access to Voluntary Screening for HIV/AIDS and STIs Act of 2009 includes a comprehensive and evidence based strategy to improve the overall health of our nation.”

Original Cosponsors: Reps. Donna M. Christensen, Yvette D. Clarke, Emmanuel Cleaver, John Conyers Jr., Al Green, Raul M. Grijalva, Sheila Jackson-Lee, Gregory W. Meeks, Charles B. Rangel, Lucille Roybal-Allard, Bobby L. Rush, Edolphus Towns, Maxine Waters, Diane E. Watson, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and Robert Wexler.

The Increasing Access to Voluntary screening for HIV/AIDS and STIs Act of 2009 is supported by the Harlem United AIDS Center, Global Justice Ministry of Metropolitan Community Churches, AIDS Institute, and National Association of People with AIDS (NAPWA).

Congressman Alcee L. Hastings is Vice Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, a senior member of the House Rules Committee, and Co-Chairman of the U.S. Helsinki Commission.

Until we meet again; here's wishing you health, hope and happiness.

big bear hug,

Daddy Dab