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Author Topic: A call to action  (Read 1869 times)

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Offline FunkyMonkey

  • Member
  • Posts: 10
A call to action
« on: June 20, 2008, 03:11:54 PM »
Check this out from a group of Michigna PWA's:
Formatting may be messed up--I did a cut/paste from email.

                  June 17, 2008


Michigan Positive Action Coalition
Call to Action

The members of the Michigan Positive Action Coalition, who are persons living with HIV/AIDS (PLWH/A’s) and those who advocate with them, announce this call to action for community members and policy makers.

Because of the growing HIV/AIDS epidemic in the U.S., and the economic and social realities of those at risk for and living with HIV/AIDS, demand for HIV/AIDS services has never been higher.

This demand comes as funding support is held level in some areas and decreased in others.  Additional constraints on prevention and care services have been enacted that further jeopardize our country’s attempts to adequately respond to this national health emergency.

We the PLWH/A’s of the Michigan Positive Action Coalition call our community members, elected officials and national partners to action.  We request the following be addressed immediately:

HIV/AIDS Care:

•   The Ryan White Act needs to become a Care EMERGENCY act again.
•   FULL funding of ADAP so EVERY state has a FULL HAART formulary and NO waiting list.
•   Guidelines on 'Core Services' to no longer under prioritize important services such as transportation, psychosocial support, housing, mental health services and substance use treatment services,  which can make participation in medical core services a reality.
•   More streamlined coordination of prevention and care services.


HIV Prevention:

•   An immediate end to the ban on federal funding support for syringe exchange programs.
•   Cease and desist funding to all ineffective abstinence based programs and return to evidence-based, proven effective interventions for the behavioral groups most impacted by this disease.
•   Faith-based interventions to be immediately held to the same standard of evaluation and oversight that traditional interventions are held to.
•   Communities can no longer have their progress slowed waiting for DEBI interventions and/or their training.  Technical Assistance initiatives should begin immediately to improve states abilities to create and evaluate additional 'homegrown' theory-based interventions for their own populations.

 
Leadership:

While we recognize the commitment and hard work of organizations such as NAPWA, NMAC, CDC and NASTAD, they are not by default our only valid voice.  The many people living with HIV/AIDS and at risk populations living between the power triangle of New York, Washington D.C. and California deserve to have their voices heard and responded to.  A handful of PLWH/A's from the 'beltways' and a few state consultants to national groups do not make a representative consensus. Too often we are called upon only to give support to an action already decided upon without first being allowed to participate in the creation of initiatives.

To serve this end, we request our national partners recommit to holding local and regional meetings to garner direct input by the vast number of under represented PLWH/A's and those at risk who are not directly engaged with national groups.

We request a re-focusing on HIV as a national public health concern. To support this we call on our national partners to:

•   Conduct a national campaign which focuses on increasing risk awareness, reduces stigma and provides more access to HIV counseling and testing as well as screening efforts.
•   Promote a national mandate for scientifically and medically accurate comprehensive HIV education throughout our public school system.
 
Perhaps these efforts may once again remind us of what was once said in Denver:

 "We condemn attempts to label us as ‘victims,’ a term which implies defeat, and we are only occasionally ‘patients,’ a term which implies passivity, helplessness, and dependence upon the care of others. We are ‘People With AIDS.’



Mark Peterson
Director,
Michigan Positive Action Coalition
mark_ab_peterson@yahoo.com

Rick Otterbein
Legislative Affairs Director
Michigan Positive Action Coalition
rick@mi-poz.org

http://www.aidsprevention.org/poz.htm



 


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