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How U.S., Other Nations Addresses Climate Change Will Impact Nations’ Abilities To Manage HIV Infection

The Conversation: How bucking climate change accord would hinder fight against HIV/AIDS
Brian King, associate professor of geography at Pennsylvania State University

“The potential withdrawal of the United States from the Paris climate agreement has broad implications for society and the environment. While much attention has concentrated upon melting glaciers, rising sea levels, and conflicts over scarce resources, another area represents a major cause for concern: human health. … South Africa’s HIV approach holds important lessons for the future of HIV management, but it also reveals new challenges that will arise from global climate change. One such challenge is ensuring that HIV-positive individuals have food. … While there have been remarkable improvements in combating the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the Global South, managed HIV faces other challenges beyond accessing lifesaving drugs. Food production and food security, which are tied to shifting climate dynamics, place additional burdens upon social and natural environments in resource-scarce settings. Managed HIV is survival, and this survival depends not just on access to antiretroviral drugs but also on a gamut of social and environmental resources that have become necessary to meet health needs in the era of global climate change” (1/9).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.