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Report Faults D.C.'s AIDS Efforts

Report Faults D.C.'s AIDS Efforts


Although Washington, D.C., has one of the highest HIV prevalence rates in the country, the District has mismanaged and understaffed its response to the local AIDS crisis, according to a report released in August by the D.C. Appleseed Center for Law and Justice. The report cites a high-level official who concludes that the district 'is in some respects 10 to 15 years behind where it should be in mounting a concerted, effective response.' Four main problem areas were identified: ' A lack of systematically collecting and analyzing data related to the epidemic; ' Poor coordination and supervision of agencies providing HIV care in the district; ' Inadequate programs for several demographic groups, including young people, injection drug users, and prisoners; and ' Inadequate HIV prevention outreach. The report includes dozens of recommendations to improve the district's AIDS response, including developing a centralized application process for all city AIDS services, expanded condom distribution programs, and a push for HIV antibody testing by district health care providers. D.C. mayor Anthony Williams says he agrees with the report's findings and will lead a city task force charged with improving district AIDS services.

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