HIV-AIDS expert: 'We're on the verge of a medical solution'

July 23, 2012

An Arizona expert is in Washington, D.C., for the international AIDS conference. As KJZZ's Peter O'Dowd reports, it's the first time the event has been held in the U.S. for more than 20 years.

PETER O'DOWD: The conference has drawn high-level researchers and politicians from all over the world. Their message: the fight against AIDS reached a unique moment. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke Monday and said the U.S. is committed to achieving an AIDS-free generation.

HILLARY CLINTON: We will not back off, will not back down. We will fight for the resources to achieve this historic milestone.

O'DOWD: Arizona resident Carol Poore was in the audience. She puts it this way.

CAROL POORE: We're on the verge of an HIV-AIDS medical solution.

O'DOWD: Poore is the CEO of Southwest Center for HIV-AIDS.

POORE: We're years away from an HIV vaccine but through medications and getting people into care, we can have people living healthy with a viral load that's very low. That prevents the transmission of HIV to others.

O'DOWD: Poore's representing the Phoenix-based group in D.C. She says despite this good news, there are still problems. Government funding has fallen in Arizona for social programs that help people cope with the disease.

POORE: For the past five or six years, Southwest Center has lost $100,000 to $200,000 a year in support services.

O'DOWD: The group has been able to make up some of that loss from extra fundraising. Poore says 14,000 people living in Arizona have been diagnosed with HIV or AIDS and another 5,000-6,000 don't know they have it.

EDITOR'S NOTE: A previous version of this web story inaccurately transcribed Carol Poore's quote from the audio story. It incorrectly said the center had lost $1,000 to $2,000 a year. 

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