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Many Americans Worry About How People With HIV/AIDS Fare in the U.S. Health System
Date:5/12/2009

Research shows that support for increased funding coexists with fears and stigma

NEW YORK, May 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Many Americans voice concern about how those infected with HIV fare in the U.S. health care system, according to "Impressions of HIV/AIDS in America" a new focus group study released today by Public Agenda, the nonpartisan opinion research and citizen engagement organization.

The report, prepared for THE NATIONAL AIDS STRATEGY COORDINATING COMMITTEE, with support from the M·A·C AIDS FUND, is based on five focus groups with a cross section of Americans in urban, suburban and rural settings along with individual in-depth interviews with 13 HIV/AIDS experts. In every focus group many participants, often using their own health care experiences as a guide, expressed deep concern that many who are affected are not getting the help they need. As one woman in the Los Angeles focus group said, "[While] someone like Magic Johnson could afford to have those [drug] cocktails. People that are in the lower brackets of income, they probably wouldn't be able to afford those treatments."

"This study highlights the empathy people have for those living with HIV/AIDS and an understanding that access to medical care and drug treatment is critical. Unfortunately the reality in this country is that about one half of those living with HIV/AIDS are not in care and treatment," said Rebecca Haag, CEO and President of the AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts. "People sympathize with those living with HIV/AIDS because of their own frustrations with a dysfunctional health care system. This is the reason that it's critical that the needs of those living with HIV/AIDS and other life threatening diseases be addressed in the Health Care Reform work that is being driving by our new President and Congress. Everyone in our country should have equal access to life saving drugs and medical care
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SOURCE Public Agenda
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