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Advocates Push for Greater Awareness of HIV/AIDS
Date:11/30/2011

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Advocates for HIV/AIDS research and treatment met Wednesday to discuss how to reduce the spread of the disease in the United States, improve access to better care and raise general awareness of the ongoing epidemic.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a report on HIV in the United States revealing that 1.2 million Americans are living with HIV, yet only about 28 percent of them have their disease under control.

Efforts to diagnose, treat and reduce transmission of the virus need to be redoubled, the CDC said.

Wednesday's news conference announced the reemergence of National HIV Awareness Month, slated for July 2012.

"We realized that we need to come together and create a focus around the national epidemic," said Dawn Averitt Bridge, founder of the Well Project and the Coalition for National HIV Awareness Month.

The Well Project is a nonprofit group that focuses its attention on women with HIV/AIDS.

July was chosen because the International AIDS Conference will be taking place in the United States for the first time in over 20 years, she said. "Since President Obama lifted the travel ban on people with HIV," she added.

July is also the second anniversary of the release of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy, Bridge said.

"The coalition is coming together to say: 'it's very important to see what the federal agencies do, but let's talk about how we engage the public and the private sector,'" she said.

"I applaud you and your partners for establishing National HIV Awareness Month," Jeffrey Crowley, director of the Office of National AIDS Policy and senior advisor on disability policy in the White House, said during the conference.

Crowley noted that the U.S. government's HIV strategy has four goals: reduce the number of people that become infected with HIV; increase
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