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Sunday, January 06, 2013

BEYOND AIDS CELEBRATES GAINS AS VICTORY AGAINST HIV WITHIN REACH; PLANS FOR 2013

Beyond AIDS held its Annual Meeting in Redlands, California on November 17, 2012, the first time the organization had held a major event in the "Inland Empire." (See separate report on the associated educational seminar on the morning of the meeting day.) There was considerable excitement because of the organization's progress in the development and promotion of a viable strategy to control the U.S. HIV/AIDS epidemic. If this strategy is vigorously implemented nationwide and promoted by federal health agencies, there is a potential for significant decreases in HIV incidence, something that has not been achieved in the U.S. since the disease was discovered in 1981.

President Ron Hattis reported that the subsidiary Beyond AIDS Foundation had been especially active and successful during 2012. In addition to development of the control strategy, the foundation had sponsored meetings in Washington, D.C. with key federal leaders during the International AIDS Conference, to review Beyond AIDS recommendations for HIV control. The internship/fellowship program had been reactivated, and a fellowship project was underway to survey local California public health agencies on their partner services activities. Consultations had been held with leaders of the California Office of AIDS, and the foundation was conducting continuing medical education programs. The Web site had been updated, and the changes were demonstrated at the meeting by our current Web designer, Heather Rinne.

Beyond AIDS reaffirmed its interest in simplifying current laws in California for HIV testing and partner services/notification. In New York State, preliminary evaluation of a the effects of 2010 legislation to make HIV testing more routine indicate a 13% increase in testing. Beyond AIDS will watch for deficiencies that should be addressed in further legislation.




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