dr. kevin fenton – leading the fight against aids

dr. kevin fenton – leading the fight against aids

Director, CDC National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention

The CDC estimates that there are more than one million Americans
currently living with HIV. Of that one million, African Americans
account for 47 percent of all AIDS cases in the United States. The
alarming data led to Dr. Kevin Fenton being charged with the task of
curtailing those figures via his role as the national director for
HIV/AIDS, viral hepatitis, STDs and TB prevention for the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In a sense, he is like a drug
czar for HIV/AIDS throughout the nation. But why is the African
American community becoming increasingly devastated? Dr. Fenton
answers, that “HIV is increasingly concentrated in areas of
poverty and the lack of conversation in our community is breeding
ignorance; silence is truly death.”

In light of the daunting statistics, Dr. Fenton has formulated a
multipronged plan to help lower HIV/AIDS contraction rates. “The
CDC is working with community partners and faith-based organizations to
open up [a] dialogue about the subject of HIV/AIDS,” he states.
“We also are investing in new treatment methods, but we need
everyone’s help in controlling the disease.”

Dr. Fenton points out that there are three things that we can all do to
assist in the fight. “First is getting tested and encouraging
others to get tested as well. The next thing is [having] conversations
with friends and loved ones. Lastly, you should make sure sex is as
safe as possible. Although men who have sex with other men and women
are the most at risk, AIDS does not discriminate on sexual preference,
or at all, for that matter. AIDS can kill. It’s up to us to stop
it from doing so,” he says. –delgie jones II

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