Susan J. Blumenthal, MD, medical advisor at the Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR), urges increased attention to the domestic HIV/AIDS epidemic in response to the recent U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report showing that HIV incidence rates were 40 percent higher than previously estimated.

Her commentary, titled “AIDS Amnesia in America,” was published August 12 in The Washington Times.

“In recent years, America has shifted its attention overseas, epitomized by the closing of the White House Office of National AIDS Policy,” Blumenthal writes. “The establishment and recent expansion of the lifesaving President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and other important global initiatives have brought important resources to the developing world and required that recipient countries establish national plans to address their epidemics.”

She notes that the United States has no such plan, calling the revised CDC numbers a “wake-up call from the AIDS amnesia surrounding the domestic epidemic in recent years.”

Blumenthal concludes, “With a national action plan to address this major public health issue that mobilizes all sectors of our society, combined with continuing global investment and leadership, perhaps one day people [will] have to turn to the history books to learn there ever was a disease called AIDS.”