HIV Bills Moving Swiftly in D.C.

Catania legislation aims to increase educational efforts for health professionals and senior citizens

By John Riley
Published on April 19, 2012, 8:44am | Comments

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The bill would also allow the mayor, with the approval of the Department of Health, to require the continuing education requirements for all practicing health professionals within the District include instruction on HIV/AIDS. Catania said in a statement that greater dialogue between patients and medical professionals could increase HIV/AIDS testing, which in turn could prevent new infections or connect positive individuals with appropriate care faster.

The second bill, the ''Senior HIV/AIDS Education and Outreach Program Establishment of 2012,'' would create a peer HIV/AIDS educational outreach program, designed and administered by the Department of Health, for senior audiences. Under such a program, peer educators would make presentations and conduct workshops in places where seniors tend to congregate, including senior centers, nursing and retirement homes and religious centers.

The peer education program is intended to complement existing outreach efforts for older residents. The legislation also allows the Department of Health to offer peer educators a stipend for their work, if funds are available.