CDC Director Visits Alabama to Discuss Ending HIV

 1538067345 
1560537309

CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield met with public health leaders in Montgomery Friday to discuss strategies to combat HIV.

Holly Calloway, Alabama Department of Public Health

The director of the Centers for Disease Control, Dr. Robert Redfield, met with public health leaders in Montgomery on Friday to discuss strategies to combat HIV and tour a clinic that provides health and wellness services to people with HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C and other life-threatening illnesses.

Earlier this year, the Trump administration announced plans to invest more than $290 million to end the HIV epidemic by 2030. Alabama is one of seven states that will receive money through the proposal.

“Alabama is one of the states where its major HIV acquisition is in a sense more complicated,” Redfield said during a press conference, “Because it’s in a rural environment.”

According to data from the CDC, Alabama had the nation’s 11th-highest rate of new HIV diagnoses in 2017. Approximately one in six residents infected with the disease are undiagnosed. Redfield said one challenge is combatting a higher level of stigma in rural communities. He said state leaders have to “normalize” HIV so people feel comfortable getting tested and treated. He also noted the need to reach young black and Latino men.  According to the Alabama Department of Public Health, more than 70% of people recently diagnosed with HIV in the state were black.

“We don’t need to develop an initiative that keeps doing what we’re already doing,” Redfield said, “which hasn’t reached the individuals that we’re trying to reach.”

Nationwide, the goal of the Trump administration is to reduce new HIV infections by 75 percent in five years and by at least 90 percent in 10 years. It’s part of the administration’s 2020 budget, which also includes budget cuts for programs that fund treatment of HIV overseas.

 

Alabama Will Follow CDC Guidelines For COVID-19 Booster Shots

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has authorized a third shot of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine for certain groups.

Alabama Lawmakers Will Take On A $1.3 Billion Prison Construction Plan In A Special Session

As Alabama faces mounting federal pressure to address violence in state prisons, lawmakers begin a special session Monday to vote on a proposal that includes two new mega prisons for men and a new women's facility.

Pay, Workers Increase In Hospitality Industry, But Some Restaurants Still Face Shortage

Labor data shows recent increases in wages and workers in Alabama’s leisure and hospitality industry, though the number of workers has not reached pre-pandemic levels and some restaurants still are scrambling to hire help. One Birmingham restaurateur says he’s still dealing with major staffing shortages. “It’s crazy … I work more now than I did […]

There Were More Deaths Than Births In Alabama Last Year, A Grim First For The State

Alabama's top health official says the state has "literally shrunk." According to preliminary data, it saw 64,714 total deaths and 57,641 births in 2020.

Crestwood Blvd Hotel Has Eight Weeks To Clean Up Its Act, Council Says

A crime-plagued motel on Crestwood Boulevard will have eight weeks to clean up its act, the Birmingham City Council decided Tuesday.

Yes, It Is Safe To Get The COVID And Flu Vaccines At The Same Time

Alabama is gearing up for flu season. Health professionals say it's okay to get the COVID-19 vaccine in conjunction with the flu vaccine.

More Front Page Coverage