Dr. Rachel Levine, Physician General of Pennsylvania, will be joined by Philadelphians who advocated for the Wolf administration to make ending HIV/AIDS a priority. The advocates will travel from groups including Prevention Point Philadelphia, Action AIDS, and ACT UP Philadelphia.
Dr. Levine will address a group of HIV/AIDS advocates and service providers on World AIDS Day. She will outline the Health Department's policy goals around HIV.
Where: Capitol Media Center, East Wing of the Capitol Building, Harrisburg
When: 3:30 - 4:00 PM, December 1st, World AIDS Day, 2015
Further background: On the campaign trail, Governor Wolf’s staff met with a statewide coalition of AIDS activists and service providers who believe that an end to AIDS is attainable in our lifetime. The advocates encouraged Governor Wolf to make ending HIV a priority and come up with a plan to make an end to HIV a reality. Dr. Levine's address about policy goals will be the administration's first public statements about their vision for fighting HIV/AIDS in the state.
Since taking office, the Governor has already taken action on several components of the platform the advocates proposed, including restoring cuts to SNAP benefits and ending Governor Corbett’s means-testing programs, increasing funding for the Affordable Housing Trust Fund and expanding it to all Pennsylvania counties, and expanding access to overdose prevention medication. The administration has not yet taken other steps urged by the activists, such as expanding Pittsburgh and Philadelphia’s successful syringe exchange programs to all areas of the state, restoring Governor Corbett’s cuts to HIV prevention and cash assistance, making sure that prisoners have access to condoms in state jails and prisons, and advising physicians to make HIV testing and risk screening a routine part of all medical care. The coalition will continue to meet with Health Department leaders through December to discuss how Pennsylvania can take advantage of research indicating that an end to AIDS is possible in our lifetime.