Washington DC – Dozens of District residents living with HIV & AIDS, service providers, and allies rallied at the John A. Wilson Building demanding that Mayor Vincent Gray and the DC Commission on HIV & AIDS develop and implement a comprehensive, District-wide strategy that creates the social conditions to promote health and stop the local HIV & AIDS epidemic.
The rally demanded leadership from Mayor Gray and his appointed Commission – whose members come from multiple District agencies including housing, education, and corrections – to write, develop, and implement a comprehensive, District-wide strategy that mirrors the goals of the National HIV & AIDS Strategy; (1) reducing the number of new HIV infections, (2) increase access to quality health care and optimizing overall positive health outcomes, (3) reducing HIV-related health disparities, and (4) achieving a more coordinated response to the HIV epidemic.
Elements of an effective District strategy should include:
• House people living with AIDS on HOPWA waiting list - over 1000 people now;
• Housing for all - over 60,000 waiting for subsidized housing;
• Jobs for all - over 50% unemployment among youth East of the River;
• No cuts in HIV services - keep day treatment programs OPEN;
• Comprehensive school health education;
• End harassment of women carrying condoms;
• Health care, prevention and treatment for all documented and undocumented individuals;
• Ease the reentry of the previously incarcerated.
The demands stress a single strategy, which will stretch across all sectors including health, education, corrections, and unifies a multi-agency - with community partnership - approach with a specific vision, measureable goals, and objectives.
The rally was coordinated by the DC Community Coalition, Mary’s Center, The Women’s Collective, Housing Works, and DC Fights Back.
Get involved with the DC Community Coalition by emailing email@example.com.
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