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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

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Professor, colleagues call for strengthened HIV prevention

United States is not doing enough to thwart the spread of HIV, according to a recent report issued by a national committee co-chaired by James Trussell, associate dean of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

The report, "No Time to Lose," was released by a group from the National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine. The committee found that hundreds of new HIV infections in this country could be avoided each year if more effort was put into prevention.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention asked the institute to review current HIV prevention efforts and develop a framework for a national prevention strategy as one of several steps the CDC is taking to refine its approach to reducing the virus' spread.

"This report will be invaluable as we move forward toward our goals," said Helene Gayle, director of CDC's National Center for HIV, STD and TB Prevention. "Ultimately, we hope this report will propel the nation into action."

Two decades after the first case of AIDS was identified in this country, an estimated 40,000 Americans still become infected with HIV each year and the number of new AIDS cases among women, minorities and adolescents has increased significantly, the report states.

Trussell, an expert on public health issues, and his colleagues are urging health officials and legislators to develop a better system to track the disease and direct funds to programs that effectively prevent the spread of HIV, which causes AIDS.

Contact: Justin Harmon (609) 258-3601

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