main_aidswalk_480

The ongoing international economic crisis intensifies fate's cruelest judgments.

That is certainly the case here in Massachusetts, where state funding for battling HIV and viral hepatitis has been cut by $5 million over the last five years.

Adding injury to insult, the federal government — held hostage by the most radical wing of the Republican party — has slashed funds for HIV education and prevention by a punishing 25 percent.

It is no use shaking our heads in wonder or shedding tears of frustration. These are the facts on the ground, and people who care about curtailing the spread of HIV and AIDS and providing dignified support for those afflicted must recommit.

Since 1999, the AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts, the Bay State's leading provider of prevention and wellness services to people vulnerable to HIV infection, has helped reduce the number of new diagnoses here by 54 percent.

That's an undeniable achievement. And it is made even more impressive when one realizes that this results in health-care savings of more than $2 billion in the commonwealth.

Today, there are approximately 25,000 people living with HIV in Massachusetts. Perhaps as many as 7000 of these people — mothers, fathers, children, brothers, sisters, friends — are unaware of their disease.

The earlier these folks can be diagnosed and treated, the longer their lives will be. This is more than a matter of caring. It is a matter of hard dollars. The earlier a patient is identified, the lower the cost of his or her treatment will be.

In the battle to make this a reality, AIDS Action this year made a real breakthrough. It helped push through Beacon Hill a bill that makes HIV testing easier by modernizing Massachusetts's consent laws.

There is a very simple and concrete way to help AIDS Action continue its vital work: join or contribute to the 27th annual AIDS Walk, which organizes this Sunday, June 3, at the Hatch Memorial Shell on the Charles River Esplanade. Your efforts will compound and reap solid rewards.

Related: Cleaning up after DiMasi, Strange bedfellows, Asshole enlightening cream, More more >
  Topics: The Editorial Page , Politics, fundraiser, AIDS Walk
| More


Most Popular
ARTICLES BY EDITORIAL
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   MERCY AND SAL DIMASI  |  March 13, 2013
    When it comes to showing a modicum of mercy to some of those convicted of federal crimes, Barack Obama is shaping up to have the worst track record of any president in recent memory.
  •   NEXT, MARRIAGE EQUALITY  |  March 05, 2013
    On March 27 and 28, the US Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments in two cases that could essentially put America on the road to full marriage equality.
  •   THUS SPAKE MARKEY  |  February 26, 2013
    Last week, Congressman Ed Markey inadvertently injected some daring political thinking and a touch of historical imagination into the race to fill the US Senate seat vacated by John Kerry's appointment as secretary of state.
  •   DRONES: 10 THOUGHTS  |  February 20, 2013
    Foreign drone attacks are almost (but not quite yet) as American as apple pie.
  •   MISSION CREEP: THE 'LONG WAR' ON AL QAEDA TERRORISTS  |  February 13, 2013
    America is a prisoner of the War on Terror, which military and diplomatic policy makers once called the Long War.

 See all articles by: EDITORIAL