6 The Hampton Roads Messenger
Volume 8 Number 4
NIH Statement on World AIDS Day 2013 Health
Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., Director, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Jack Whitescarver, Ph.D., Director, NIH Office of AIDS Research Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., NIH Director
FROM PAGE 1 July 2002 California Gov. Gray
Davis signs into law a bill that directs the state’s Air Resources Board (ARB) to establish feasible standards for the reduction of greenhouse gases from passenger vehicles in the state.
December 2004 A coalition of
major automotive companies responds by filing a lawsuit to stop the state from implementing its “Clean Cars” program.
September 2006 California
Governor Schwarzenegger in October asks the EPA to allow the state to enforce the standards.
April 2007 The U. S. Supreme
Court rules 5-4 that CO2 is a pollutant and that states can regulate its emissions, bolstering California’s Clean Cars Law.
November 2007 In a precedent In the 25 years that have passed
since the first annual commemoration of World AIDS Day, extraordinary scientific progress has been made in the fight against HIV/AIDS. That progress has turned an HIV diagnosis from an almost-certain death sentence to what is now for many, a manageable medical condition and nearly normal lifespan. We have come far, yet not far enough.
In 2012, more than 2 million
new HIV infections and 1.6 million AIDS-related deaths occurred globally. Although these numbers represent a decline from previous years, they also reflect a grim reality: far too many people become HIV-infected and die from the effects of the disease. On World AIDS Day, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) reaffirms its commitment to finding improved HIV treatments and tools for preventing infection (including a vaccine), addressing the conditions and diseases associated with long-term HIV infection, and, ultimately, finding a cure.
Over the years since HIV
was established as the cause of AIDS, NIH-funded researchers—in partnership with academia and the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries—have developed more than 30 life-saving antiretroviral drugs and drug combinations for treating HIV infection. Moreover, as the landmark HPTN 052 clinical trial proved, antiretroviral treatment can also
effectively prevent HIV transmission by lowering the amount of virus in infected individuals, thereby making them less able to transmit the virus to their sexual partners. Today, we are working to improve upon these medicines by developing drugs that are longer-acting, simpler to use, and with fewer side effects. Further, NIH scientists and grantees are exploring the administration of anti-HIV antibodies as a way to treat infection. This approach was recently shown to be effective when used in monkeys infected with a genetically engineered version of simian HIV. Additionally, NIH researchers have begun early stage human testing of a monoclonal antibody (called VRC01), which in the laboratory, protected human cells against infection by more than 90 percent of known HIV strains.
However, advances in
antiretroviral therapy or the discovery of new treatments are of little value if HIV-infected individuals do not know they are infected, do not have adequate access to HIV treatment and the necessary medical care to control their virus levels, or do not adhere to their treatment regimen. For example, of the 1.1 million people living with HIV infection in the United States, only 25 percent receive ongoing medical care and have virus levels that are adequately controlled by taking antiretroviral medications as prescribed. The NIH is funding studies in the United States and internation-
WORLD AIDS DAY PAGE 11
setting lawsuit, Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Edmund G. Brown, Jr. sue the EPA, to force action on the state’s request to be allowed to enforce its emissions standards.
December 2007 The EPA denies
California’s emission enforcement request.
January 2009 President Obama
instructs the EPA to reconsider California’s request for authority to implement its emissions standards.
May 2009 President Obama
announces an agreement between automakers, states and the federal government on tough new nationwide greenhouse gas and mileage standards for new vehicles.
June 2009 The EPA issues a
waiver that allows California to enforce its emissions standards. Under the state law, vehicle emissions are to be cut by 30 percent by 2016.
April 2010 U.S. EPA and the
National Highway Transportation Safety Administration unveil historic new federal rules that set the first national emissions and fuel economy standards for new cars and light trucks and improve fuel economy.
August 2012 The Obama
Administration announces emissions standards that will reduce global warming pollution and increase fuel economy to the equivalent of 54.5 mpg for cars and light-duty trucks by 2025, nearly twice as much as today’s average.
2013 The EPA holds a series of
hearings on emissions standards to formulate regulations that would take effect in 2017.
It is clear that the agency was
waiting for new leadership because when the newly elected President Obama appointed Lisa Jackson to take control of environmental policy in January 2009, the EPA immediately launched a process that would grant California – and the 13 other states that supported the lawsuit – the right to implement the new emissions standards. The EPA issued an order allowing the emissions enforcement in June 2009.
Last week, six years after the twitter.com/H_R_Messenger
filing of the suit, African-American leadership on that issue – the work of Obama, EPA chief Lisa Jackson and David Strickland, head of National Highway Traffic Administration – was celebrated at “Clean Cars, Jobs and Healthy Communities,” a forum at the
California African American Museum. Jackson stepped down from
the EPA in February after four years of running the agency. However, Strickland was among the featured speakers at the forum, which focused on ways to further advance the development of low-emission and zero-emission vehicles to improve the health and economic well-being of urban communities. The November 21 event was organized by the California Electric Transportation Coalition and the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, a think tank for analysis of policy issues of concern to people of color.
Strickland and Jackson took
part in negotiations with automotive companies that resulted in a 2012 agreement on the next phase of gas pollution reduction nationwide, standards that
manufacturers to double the fuel efficiency of vehicles by 2025.
General Motors was one of the
automotive companies that participated in that negotiated agreement. Speaking on behalf of General Motors (GM), Mike Robinson, the company’s vice president of sustainability and government regulatory affairs, linked GM’s launch of the new Cadillac ELR – the luxury line’s first plug-in electric vehicle – to the effort to reduce pollution. He praised Strickland for his role in the “greatest greenhouse gas reduction” measure.
In his comments, Strickland
said the new emissions standards took “years of discussions, strife and angst.” He said increased production of low-emission and no-emission vehicles could change consumer buying habits.
“My father once owned a 1975
Cadillac El Dorado,” said Strickland, referring to the family car of his youth. “It was as big as this room and not very fuel efficient.”
Strickland said that he owns a
hybrid vehicle that operates on gas and electricity and cited the financial benefits of owning hybrids and electric vehicles.
“When my father saw that my
hybrid got 50 percent more mileage than his car, he bought one,” said Strickland.
However, California Assembly
member Steven Bradford, another forum speaker, said African-Amer- ican interest in hybrids and electric vehicles has been limited because most charging stations are in high-income communities that are predominantly white.
“If you don’t have charging
stations in poorer communities, they’re not going to buy them,” he said.
The state of California will be
expanding the production of charging stations and will be identifying communities where more are needed, said forum participant Janea Scott, a member of the California Energy Commission.
The need for more charging stations
in African-American communities is great because particulate pollution in those neighborhoods is responsible for large-scale asthma problems, said Danielle Deane, director of the energy and environmental program at the Joint Center policy institute. Deane, who moderated a forum panel, said blacks are “two to three times more likely to die” from asthma compared to other Americans.
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