Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Tides Awashed in Hope

COP 24/7 Speaks
Tides of Transformations Needed in Arkansas

As the International AIDS Conference 2012 continues, so does the coverage here at COP 24/7. Since its inception this forum has been steadfast in offering the most current and updated HIV/AIDS information and statistics including the various social determinants that are central to this health crisis. I am of the opinion that its imperative that as many comprehensive and innovative approaches be mobilized ranging from increased funding for community based organizations to enlisting faith based entities in the effort to increase testing and prevention messages. The data has proven by far that the epidemic has primarily domiciled itself in Arkansas's delta region and points both north and south along a southeastern trajectory. Counties such as Lee, Jefferson, Chicot, Jefferson, Union, and Pulaski rank among those with the highest HIV prevalence rates which demonstrates that this virus rages on in this state. Furthermore, this scenario is fully supported by data disseminated by both the Center's for Disease for Control and National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors which cite that a further "call to action" be instituted. Yet this call to action can not occur without policy makers and all legislators facing the reality that the lack of  prevention line item funding in the state budget must be reconsidered. Meanwhile a progressive and coordinated strategy framed by the National AIDS Strategy will be crucial to address this health dilemma, not to mention a full throated support from the next Governor is tantamount to getting a grasp on the situation.  I urge our public health officials to increase the "community information viral load" by deploying weekly updates directly from the Infectious Disease Unit, harnessing the vast power of the Internet with dynamic content, immerse the agency in community assessed capacity building opportunities that will build the infrastructure in regions of the state that are under served and provide the bold leadership that's paramount to significantly impact what this forum has determined as Arkansas' "Black genocide" that must be stopped by any means necessary. Three decades of HIV and AIDS have passed into my memory, however despite notable breakthroughs it appears that the road for Arkansas is still long and winding. We've heard that "when we know better, we do better," well we can't wait any longer for anyone to know better, its time for all of us to demand that no more lives be lost while we wait on that "do better" stance. Let's Stop HIV together, Now!

IAC 2012: Many Voices, Many Volumes

Thanks to the Henry J.Kaiser Family Foundation for keeping the video content coming fast and furious from the International AIDS Conference in Washington D.C. this week. COP 24/7 is proud that this forum to our knowledge is the only in state blog site that has been providing direct coverage to the event as well as links, updates and local information for those seeking counseling or services. Taking a cue from conference organizers, this platform has utilized all the gizmos and gadgets made available by the IAS. COP 24/7 has always been seeking to grab hold of all things rolling out from the Internet and the latest technology that can connect our global audience to our site. If you are not following us, then get on board to stay in the information loop. Content provided courtesy: www.kkf.org   Correction: Connie "condom lady" Roebuck was unable to attend the conference as posted. She fell ill but has had a speedy recovery and we wish her well, plus thank her for work in Northeast Arkansas.

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