AIDS might seem like a distant memory in the wake of a tumultuous 16 month-long election cycle. The soon-to-be Trump presidency is providing an unnerving picture for the future of AIDS related issues. Under the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid was greatly expanded and many prerequisites were dropped to make access to care easier for almost 45% of HIV positive people. Many of these improvements are likely to be cut or trimmed in the new administration. This will make other funding such as that provided by the Telluride AIDS Benefit more relevant than ever.
The Telluride AIDS Benefit (TAB) gave away $148,000 to seven AIDS treatment and prevention groups in Colorado and Africa last week, marking an incredibly successful year for the benefit. 100% of funds raised during TAB’s week of events are being given directly to AIDS Service Organizations (ASOs) in Colorado and Africa this year.
In 2006, Marla Hodes traveled to Ethiopia to visit her brother-in-law, the renowned American doctor Dr. Rick Hodes, who has long performed life-changing medical procedures in the African country.
It all started with a box containing 1,000 condoms. Once in Kathleen Morgan’s hands, the noble function of the humble condom became wearable art. Each year those wondrous rubber raiments have fluttered down the runway. They’ve fetched thousands of dollars during the post-fashion show auctions.
According to Advocates for Youth, “stigma against people with HIV directly contributes to the epidemic where HIV-positive people or people at risk of HIV are reluctant or afraid to seek treatment and testing. Some young people report being afraid to get an HIV test because health care workers accuse them of being promiscuous.
Jeff Basinger, the director of regional programs at Western Colorado Aids Project (WestCAP), says needle exchange programs are often misunderstood and research proves the programs are effective in stopping the spread of disease. “With new legislation and subsequent implementation in various communities, these programs have been a step in the right direction in helping stop the spread of HIV,” Basinger says.
Kevin Robert Frost gives his interesting perspective on the state of AIDS:
"I’m confident we’ll develop a cure, but I take nothing for granted. Nothing about HIV/AIDS has ever been straightforward or easy, and this chapter of the AIDS response—the final chapter, we hope—will be no different."
The Children’s Hospital Immunodeficiency Program (CHIP), which operates under the umbrella of the nonprofit Children’s Hospital Colorado in Denver, has been the sole provider of specialized care for infants, children, adolescents and pregnant women with HIV infection in the Rocky Mountain region since its inception 24 years ago.