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Catania Moves to Require HIV/AIDS Continuing Education for Medical Professionals | Health

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Catania Moves to Require HIV/AIDS Continuing Education for Medical Professionals
Catania Moves to Require HIV/AIDS Continuing Education for Medical Professionals


This story comes to us from Brendan Williams-Kief:

Today, Councilmember David A. Catania (At-Large) introduced the “HIV/AIDS Continuing Medical Education Amendment Act of 2011.” The bill would require HIV/AIDS specific coursework as part of continuing education standards for medical professionals.


             “This legislation is an important step forward in our continuing efforts to remain at the forefront of HIV/AIDS education, prevention, and treatment,” said Councilmember Catania. “The bill will ensure that our healthcare workforce has the tools it needs to respond to the ever-changing epidemic in the District of Columbia.”


            The bill would provide District physicians, physician assistants, and nurses with an understanding of the impact of HIV and AIDS on populations of different ages, as well as different racial and ethnic backgrounds by incorporating HIV/AIDS education into existing continuing education requirements.  The legislation would improve the ability of health professionals to discuss HIV/AIDS with their patients and would break down barriers to care. Greater dialogue regarding HIV/AIDS between medical professionals and their patients can increase HIV/AIDS testing helping to prevent new infections and connecting positive-testing individuals with care faster.


      Councilmember Catania has long been a champion of efforts to improve the District’s response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic.  Since assuming the chairmanship of the Committee on Health in 2005, Catania has worked to restructure school health curriculum, expanded funding for testing and condom distribution, and championed reforms requiring testing and treatment in the D.C. Jail. Catania is responsible for conceiving, funding, and organizing the District’s annual HIV/AIDS report. The annual report is one of the most sophisticated epidemiological studies in the nation.


      Today’s legislation comes amidst Councilmember Catania’s broader leadership and in the lead up to AIDS 2012, the International AIDS Society Conference. AIDS 2012 will take place Washington, D.C. next July.  The International AIDS Society Conference is the preeminent gathering of HIV/AIDS researchers, activists, and policy makers.  Over 20,000 delegates from nearly 200 countries are expected to attend the conference with close to 2,000 journalists covering the event. AIDS 2012 offers the District a world stage to highlight its effective response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. 


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