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AIDS Action Asks Mass. Public Health Council to Forge a State AIDS Plan to Help Stop HIV/AIDS Here
Date:2/13/2008

of those living with HIV/AIDS," Haag said. "We need a renewed energy and a commitment to new approaches and solutions if we hope to improve health outcomes and reduce new infections."

Survey respondents from participating collaborators, including AIDS Action, drove the key findings. People living with HIV/AIDS seeking services:

-- Experience significant economic insecurity and identify housing as the most pressing need, with other leading barriers such as access to adequate nutrition, prior incarceration and mental health and substance abuse needs.

-- Have complex needs that require integrated as well as disease-specific services.

-- Experience significant housing insecurity and need prompt access to affordable housing. Housing IS healthcare.

-- Have significant levels of prior and recent incarceration that indicate the need for multi-level supports.

-- Have significant mental health and substance use needs that both drive their need for services and may be a reflection of their path to infection.

-- Are aging. The implications for the over-burdened elder care system in light of the burgeoning number of residents becoming elders is significant, especially given the acute and multi-level of services that HIV+ elders may need.

"Those people living with HIV/AIDS who are seeking care have complex health needs and a high incidence of hospitalizations," Haag said. "Our experience and the survey's results both show that in order to ensure adherence to difficult treatment regimes, people need stable housing, nutritional support, transportation and mental health services."

"The care system must be more integrated and easily accessible to those we serve," said Haag. "It must also be culturally competent and responsive to the needs of a diverse population." Sixty percent of AIDS Action's clients are people of color, as are 60 percent of the statewide survey's respondents.

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SOURCE AIDS Action Committee
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