There Are Proven Ways to Fight HIV. Telling People Not to Have Sex Isn’t One


Former US President George W. Bush watching a skit on abstinence during a visit to the 'Lycee de Kigali', a school, in Kigali on February 19, 2008. Image: Jim Watson/AFP
Former US President George W. Bush watching a skit on abstinence during a visit to the ‚Lycee de Kigali‘, a school, in Kigali on February 19, 2008. Image: Jim Watson/AFP
Here’s some news that will shock you: Studies are showing that fighting HIV is going to cost money, and spending that money on telling people not to have sex is a basically like throwing it into the toilet.

By Kaleigh Rogers | MOTHERBOARD

Over the last five years, transmissions rates and new cases of HIV have dropped in the US, according to a new study published in AIDS and Behavior. In 2015, the number of new cases of HIV infection was down 11 percent over 2010. Transmission rates—that’s a measure of transmissions in relation to the current number of HIV-positive people—had fallen 17 percent. That’s great news, but it fell short of the goals President Obama laid out in his National HIV/AIDS Strategy back in 2010, which hoped to see transmission rates fall by 30 percent, and new cases to drop by 25 percent.

The study shows that, while the strategies laid out—which included things like developing cheaper treatments and creating simpler systems to connect patients with health care—were effective, we flat out didn’t invest enough money into seeing them through

“We got part of the way there, that should be highlighted, but at the same time we only got about halfway to the finish line,” David Holtgrave, chair of the Bloomberg School’s department of health, behavior and society and lead author of the study, told me over the phone. “The National AIDS Strategy is a terrific document and is really very visionary, but it doesn’t address the costs necessary to achieve the goals. As a nation, we didn’t quite make the investment that was necessary to scale up programs to the level that was needed.”

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