The United States now has a National HIV/AIDS Strategy for the next five years.
President Obama signed the executive order implementing the updated strategy July 30.
The president launched the nation’s first comprehensive National HIV/AIDS Strategy in 2010. The updated strategy has the same goals as the original plan, namely: reducing new HIV infections, increasing access to care and improving the health of people living with HIV, reducing HIV-related disparities and health inequities and achieving a more coordinated national response.
According to a fact sheet released by the White House, the update focuses on four priority activities through 2020:
- Widespread HIV testing and linkage to care, enabling people living with HIV to access treatment early.
- Broad support for people living with HIV to remain engaged in comprehensive care, including support for treatment adherence.
- Universal viral suppression among people living with HIV, since it benefits their health and reduces transmission of the virus to others.
- Full access to comprehensive pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) services for those whom it is appropriate and desired, with support for medication adherence for those using PrEP. As one of the tools in the HIV prevention toolkit, PrEP is a way for people who don’t have HIV to prevent HIV infection by taking a pill every day.
The update also identifies key populations disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS and guides the feds’ response to those groups. They include men who have sex with men, transgender women (particularly black transgender women), black women and men, Latinos and Latinas, people who inject drugs, young people (especially black MSM) and people who live in the Southern U.S.
The strategy outlines 11 steps and 37 recommendations designed to leverage scientific and policy advances that have happened since 2010, when the original strategy was written. The recommendations cover testing, prevention, treatment, PrEP, implementing the Affordable Care Act and increased funding to the Ryan White HIV/AIDS program.
Read the entire executive order: 2015HIVAIDSExecutiveOrder