- Black Americans, and particularly young blacks, express much higher levels of concern about HIV infection than whites.
- Reported HIV testing rates are flat since 1997, including among some key groups at higher risk.
- Thirty years into the epidemic, there is a declining sense of national urgency and visibility of HIV/AIDS.
- At the same time, after nearly a decade of decline, the share of Americans who say they are personally "very concerned" about becoming infected ticked up for the first time in this year's survey.
- Many Americans still hold attitudes that may stigmatize people with HIV/AIDS, but such reported attitudes have declined in recent years.
- Despite continuing economic problems, more than half of Americans support increased funding for HIV/AIDS, and fewer than one in ten say the federal government spends too much in this area.
- Media, which includes radio, television, newspapers and online sources, is the top information source on HIV across racial/ethnic groups and for younger and older adults alike.
- Three-quarters of Americans could not name an individual who stands out as a national leader in the fight against HIV/AIDS, and no person who was mentioned makes it into double digits.
Obviously, Americans no longer view HIV/AIDS as a priority in the United States. Is there any other reason to explain why the number of people living with HIV/AIDS on ADAP waiting lists in this country has exploded from 99 in May 2009 to 9,201 to August 2011? That's a 9,193% increase!!!
The Red Ribbon was once a widely-recognized symbol of awareness and hope for people effected, and affected by HIV/AIDS. Wearing the Red Ribbon was likened to a first place ribbon in the fight against the disease...but now, that ribbon has fallen behind to competing colors. Whether it is the Pink Ribbon for breast cancer, Blue Ribbon for prostate cancer or the Jigsaw Ribbon for autism, numerous other colors have relegated the AIDS Ribbon to the back of the pack. For example, cancer research received $1.3 billion in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds for spending by the National Cancer Institute in FY 2009 and FY 2010.5 Ironically, despite repeated pleas by some Members of Congress and the broader HIV/AIDS community, no such stimulus funding was devoted to alleviate the ongoing ADAP crisis. That's whammy #2!
1 Kaiser Family Foundation, "HIV/AIDS At 30: A Public Opinion Perspective," June 2011.
4 National Association of State & Territorial AIDS Directors, “FY2004 – FY2008 Appropriations for the Ryan White Program”, February 2008
5 National Cancer Institute, "Cancer Research Funding - Key Points," June 2011