[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]
AFRO-NETS> HIV testing without treatment? (19)
- Subject: AFRO-NETS> HIV testing without treatment? (19)
- From: Judith Mayo <JMayo@hivcybermall.org>
- Date: Thu, 22 Jun 2000 11:51:53 -0400 (EDT)
HIV testing without treatment? (19)
Should HIV testing be promoted when treatment is not available?
This question is easy to answer in the very fortunate (for people
living with HIV/AIDS) environment in which I live and work. I live in
Los Angeles and here, where the new combination drug therapies are
available, there is no question that counselling and testing must al-
ways be linked with treatment. Because they can be.
We have a very strong community of AIDS activists, many of them liv-
ing with HIV themselves. I attended a meeting discussing a proposal
before the state legislature to make HIV testing mandatory for cer-
tain groups of people (pregnant women, prisoners). People who strug-
gle with the virus every day, including many who have done so for as
long as 15 years, were unanimous in their statements that making
treatment available to everyone who needs it is the top priority and
that testing must not be mandated unless it is linked to treatment.
They also advocated using the proposed legislation as an opportunity
to increase the availability of treatment to the HIV positive popula-
tion of Los Angeles. Especially in our low-income communities of col-
our, the availability of treatment needs to increase.
Ever since the advent of the drug "cocktail", the AIDS community in
Los Angeles has been outspoken in encouraging HIV testing so that
people will know they are infected and receive treatment right away.
Delaying testing here is bad for your health because the virus will
harm your immune system and worsen your ability to manage your ill-
ness if you don't know you are infected.
In the very different circumstances in Africa, it is more like it was
here before the drug therapies, when treatment was not available.
Then testing was of much less value, since so little could be done
for those who tested positive. As vaccines and treatment options be-
gin to become available in your country, it will make all the differ-
ence. I understand that "Doctors without Borders" now offers some
treatment for positive people in South Africa.
Send mail for the `AFRO-NETS' conference to `email@example.com'.
Mail administrative requests to `firstname.lastname@example.org'.
For additional assistance, send mail to: `email@example.com'.