Trump vows to end HIV spread within 10 years, critics skeptical

09 February, 2019, 20:10 | Author: Kara Nash
  • A red ribbon symbolizing AIDS awareness          Associated Press

"We know what it will take to end the HIV epidemic in the 2030", the letter began. According to Robert Redfield, MD, director, CDC, the program will target 48 counties where the epidemic is causing the most burden and deploy personnel, resources, and strategies to prevent new infections. For years, the tireless efforts of HIV advocates to end the HIV epidemic in the United States had been ignored by broad swaths of the political establishment in Washington, with only a handful of doggedly determined champions in Congress to make sure that funding for HIV programming wasn't cut and to fight back against the discrimination, criminalization, and stigmatization of people living with HIV. Their technique is predicated on classes learned by way of worldwide HIV programmes, supported by teams together with the Global Fund to Battle AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in Geneva, Switzerland, and the United States authorities' initiative PEPFAR.

Today's HIV treatments work so well they not only can give people with the AIDS virus a near-normal life expectancy, they offer a double whammy - making those patients less likely to infect other people. "Health centers are also a key point of entry for people undiagnosed with HIV", said Sigounas, who explained that almost 2 million people receive HIV tests at the health centers annually.

Redfield said he was "shocked" to see that just 48 out of 3 000 counties in the United States accounted for half of all new HIV infections.

They will also draw on lessons learned from almost 3.5 decades of work in HIV to make sure implementation of these initiatives are done well, said Anthony Fauci, MD, director of NIAID. To help pinpoint where the need for testing and treatment was greatest, "we actually lifted the number of infections in each county, and that allowed us to sort of rank the counties in terms of how they were contributing to the annual infections in America". "You have to be strong in order to endure the pain, the frustration, the confusion". Medicaid is the single-largest source of insurance for HIV care services, covering more than 40% of people with HIV, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. Today, there are over 1.1 million people living with HIV and almost 40,000 new diagnoses each year.

Jacqueline Wilson of Jackson was diagnosed as HIV positive in 2006. The plan will require diagnosing new infections as soon as possible, treating the infection rapidly and effectively, protecting those at the highest risk of contracting the infection, and responding swiftly to any outbreaks. "These diagnoses are disproportionally among young men of colour - the only group in the United States to show increases in the rate of annual diagnoses".

'I think the HIV community would work with the administration on this issue if they're serious, but it's also going to take real action, including possibly regulatory and legislative changes to achieve the goal, ' said McColl.

Trump's plan will fund programs in geographic hot spots, data to identify and track the spread of HIV, and the creation of local efforts in targeted areas to expand HIV prevention and treatment.

Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), a prevention pill and program that is up to 99 percent effective at preventing HIV infection when utilized consistently and correctly, is helping reduce the spread of HIV.

"Only a quarter of sexually active teen gay and bisexual boys have ever had an HIV test", Mustanski noted.

"It sounds very much like teleprompter Trump saying words but not being invested in the statement itself", said Scott Schoettes, counsel and HIV project director for Lambda Legal, a civil rights organization focused on the LGBT community.

Community outreach aimed at encouraging safe sex behaviours is another crucial step in getting transmissions down to zero, he said.



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