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25 Years After LaRouche, AAAS
Hears Call for Test-and-Treat Program

Feb. 22, 2010 (EIRNS)—A quarter century and millions of lives after Lyndon LaRouche was denounced for campaigning for a mandatory testing and treatment program to stop HIV/AIDS, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) on Feb. 20 heard a call for an agressive AIDS "test-and-treat" program. Such a program, said Brian Williams of the South African Center for Epidemiological Modelling and Analysis, could stop the spread of AIDS by 2015, and effectively end the epidemic by 2050.

The London Telegraph complains that the price of an agressive test-and-treat program would be enormous, costing around £2 billion a year in South Africa alone. But Williams counters that this would be offset by eradicating the massive disease burden of HIV/AIDS, and saving the lives of productive, working-age individuals.

"The epidemic is killing half a million young adults every year at the prime of their life when they have started to contribute to society," said Prof Williams. "The cost of that to society is enormous."

The benefits for such a porgram elsewhere is obvious. In the United States, 20-25% of infected people don't know it, Dr. Kenneth H. Mayer of Brown University told the Associated Press.

Still, the bureacracy continues to drag its feet. Carl Dieffenbach, director of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease's Division of AIDS, said in a statement, "NIAID is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to design a study to answer whether implementing a combined strategy of expanding HIV testing, diagnosing infection early and bringing HIV-infected patients to medical care and treatment is feasible." NIAID is conducting pilot studies of test-and-treat programs in The Bronx in New York City, and in Washington, D.C.