AIDS And Hep C Booming
Into US Public
Health Nightmare

WASHINGTON /PRNewswire/ - The confluence of HIV/AIDS, drug abuse, and hepatitis C is becoming a public health nightmare.
HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C are moving at an alarming rate into the minority community, where the poorest and most vulnerable are at risk through injection drug use and unprotected sex.
To counteract this public health emergency, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT), and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), released publications designed to provide information to the public and health professionals on the intertwined problems of substance abuse and diseases such as HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C. CSAT released its new Treatment Improvement Protocol "Substance Abuse Treatment for Persons With HIV/AIDS" and NIDA released its new "Community Drug Alert Bulletin on Hepatitis C."
The publications were released at a meeting in Baltimore, "Bringing It All Together", hosted by CSAT, NIDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The meeting was called to disseminate current research-based information about the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C, focusing on drug users.
CSAT's "Substance Abuse Treatment for Persons With HIV/AIDS" provides the latest information on what is now known about the intersection of HIV/AIDS and substance abuse. The TIP includes chapters on demographic trends; what is needed in medical assessments; how to determine mental health needs; issues for substance abuse counselors, including their own prejudices; how to integrate services; using a case manager; managing pain; ethical issues; legal issues and privacy; and funding and policy considerations.
CSAT Director H. Westley Clark, M.D., J.D., M.P.H., noted that "substance abuse increases the risk of contracting HIV. There is no question that injection drug users are at great risk. Combine this with the tendency of substance abusers to engage in risky sexual behaviors in exchange for drugs or money, and you have a dangerous public health situation."
NIDA's "Community Drug Abuse Bulletin on Hepatitis C" will provide basic information to the public on hepatitis C that can lay latent for many years before inflicting permanent liver damage.
NIDA Director Alan I. Leshner emphasized that "hepatitis C is the most common, chronic blood- borne infection in the United States, and young adults who inject drugs have the highest rate of new infections." He added that "for this reason, it's very important to get the word out to health care professionals and the public about how to prevent this infection, which is estimated to affect 80 percent of the nation's drug injecting population."
The "Bringing It All Together" Conference was designed to help professionals in substance abuse, primary care, mental health, and other health specialists, improve coordination of care for individuals who are suffering from the harm caused by addiction and its related medical consequences.
The goal of the conference was to foster creation of systems that will advance integration of best practices in prevention, outreach, assessment, case management, medical treatment and monitoring to ensure that people with drug problems who are at risk for, or have contracted chronic infections, timely, coordinated and comprehensive delivery of treatment services.
Leading experts from across the country discussed prevention and treatment of HIV and hepatitis among drug users in various settings-- from communities to prisons. Issues included the impact of drug use-related HIV and/or hepatitis among adolescents, women, the aging, criminal offenders and families. Emphasis was placed on finding practical, culturally relevant methods to reach drug users such as motivational interviewing, psychodrama and effective case management.
The conference featured workshops on specific challenges such as compliance with treatment, mental health problems, maintaining confidentiality, engaging families and coping with death and dying.
The meeting is expected to lead to creation of a national coalition of outreach workers involved in prevention activities with drug-using populations.
Contact: Leah Young of CSAT, 301-443-3740;
or Michelle Muth of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 301-594-6245;
or for Meeting: Tammy Nunnally of CDC, 678-596-6918

From Sheryl Jackson 5-17-00
I am appalled that so many people believe erroneously that the reason Hep C is so widespread in this country is because of drug use. It is the fruit we get from South America and Latin America. You don't think they have Port-a-Potties in the fields down there do you? No, they do not and the people who work the fields just squat when they have to go to the bathroom. Mexico doesn't have them either.
Less than 2 percent of the fruit we get from down below, is checked. 40 million people have Hep C in this country. Most of them are not aware. It can lie dormant for years without an acute episode. Most people do not exhibit the overt symptomology of the disease. Those of us who do get Hep C are treated like lepers in the medical world and it is commonly believed by the medical community that we got it from IV drug usage.
Remember the strawberries that get quarantined every other year? It is not the California grown strawberries that cause it, or even the Texas fruit. But the government wants us to support a global economy, that is wiping out American Sovereignty so they do not want it widely known that American fruit, the best on the planet is sold in Europe and England, is sold for $6-10per pound. Ain't NAFTA great? The poor die over here so the rich over there can live well and healthily for the rest of their lives.
First, congress approved all of the loopholes that Corporations use, on the premise they provide jobs, then they deregulated the Utilities. We are the only industrialized nation that has not got cost effective nuclear energy. We wrote the specifics of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and we are the only country that does not follow the NRC regulations. Now Congress allowed the corporations to go overseas taking jobs with them, while allowing the companies to go ahead and receive the same loopholes they had when they kept their companies here. Also congress does not charge them more excise taxes when they send the product over here to be sold. I would also note that they did not lower the prices here for their products that are now so cheaply made.
So, basically, for the past 25 years the Repugnant Party has moved toward a New World Order, thereby villifying the poor, the sick, the elderly and children for the problems we have here, and Capitalists are more interested in the money of the rich around the world, as they now approve 300,000 immigrants to come into this country to take our jobs as "skilled labor". What the hell does Skilled Labor mean? Why do we have no skilled labor here when we have so many people who are now unemployed and unable to find a full 40 hour week of work???????? What about all the training that the corporations are giving away at entry level jobs? Nowhere in the agreement does it state that they must then employ those they train. They do not employ the trainees for long, because companies get money from the government just to train the entry level employees. Unions have been busted.
In my world, if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, then New World Order smacks of The Third Reich.
Oxymorons: Nuclear Medicine, LongTermEntryLevelJobs, American Sovereignty, Compassionate Conservative and Nazi Party. S
heryl Jackson

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