The Obama Administration's PEPFAR "Blueprint for an AIDS Free World" released yesterday by U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton is an impressive and welcome roadmap forward," said Chris Norwood, Executive Director of Health People, Inc. in the South Bronx, where 2% of the adult population has HIV/AIDS. "As welcome as this plan is, it would be equally welcome---and important---for the Administration to use some of the same successful strategies in the United States that it is now using overseas."
"Most prominent, even though the United States has been the major donor helping AIDS orphans in the rest of the world, it still has no planning or special support for its own AIDS orphans," she added. "And even though 'community empowerment,' which means teaching local people to be AIDS educators and leaders is the growing model internationally, in the United States, we are defunding community programs at the center of the fight against AIDS in poor communities that do just that."
Health People, founded by Ms. Norwood, is a major AIDS education and support organization in the South Bronx, the nation's poorest urban Congressional District. Health People has implemented groundbreaking peer education, prevention and AIDS education programs which received international recognition in 2005 when Ms. Norwood was one of 1,000 women from around the world chosen for a special Nobel Peace Prize nomination honoring women's local work.