Antimicrobial availability and resistance, pandemic influenza and other bioemergencies, science-based HIV prevention programs, and adult and adolescent immunizations should be among the priorities of the incoming Obama administration, according to a letter to the Obama transition team from IDSA and HIVMA.
The letter notes that adults and adolescents in the
U.S. have low rates of immunization, with coverage rates ranging from 26 percent to 65 percent. About 95 percent of vaccine-preventable diseases occur in adults and more than 46,000 adults die each year of diseases that could have been prevented by immunization, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. IDSA’s Adult and Adolescent Immunization Coverage Principles outlines strategies to address the problem, including raising provider and public awareness regarding the availability of vaccines, improving public financing for vaccines, improving health insurance coverage, and improving quality, monitoring, and research.
The IDSA/HIVMA letter also:
- Highlights the immediate threat posed by the rise in drug-resistant infections and the decline in research and development of new drugs to treat them, and refers to IDSA’s support for the “Strategies to Address Antimicrobial Resistance Act” (www.idsoceity.org/STAARAct).
- Calls for continued expansion and strengthening of
U.S. preparedness and response efforts on bioemergencies, as called for in IDSA’s Pandemic and Seasonal Influenza Principles for U.S. Action (www.idsociety.org/pandemicfluprinciples).
- Calls on the administration to support evidence-based HIV prevention programs, including comprehensive sexuality education (rather than abstinence-only programs) and syringe exchanges, and to continue to expand
U.S. leadership against HIV, tuberculosis and malaria.
- Emphasizes other HIVMA priorities, including earlier HIV diagnosis, access to care, and an adequate medical workforce.
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