The White House has released the National HIV/AIDS Strategy for the United States: Updated to 2020, a guide detailing the priorities and principles that will lead the country’s response to the epidemic in the next five years.
The new strategy leverages the advances in science and policy that have occurred since President Obama launched the National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS) in 2010. Such advances include the passage of the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare), expanded HIV testing, the efficacy of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and the benefits of HIV treatment (including health benefits of starting treatment immediately).
The update seeks to prioritize groups at highest risk for HIV, including men who have sex with men (MSM); African-American men and women (notably black MSM and those ages 13 to 24); Latinos; people in the Southern United States; transgender women; and injection drug users.
The update also continues to build upon the original strategy’s four main goals:
• Reducing new HIV infections
• Increasing access to care and improving health outcomes for people living with HIV
• Reducing HIV-related disparities and health inequities
• Achieving a more coordinated national response
The strategy does not include a budget for implementing the goals. But in a conference call regarding the update, Douglas M. Brooks, MSW, the director of the White House Office of National AIDS Policy, said the president’s budgetary decisions will allocate funding “based on science and evidence-based interventions.”
Brooks also noted that “there will be opportunities for state and local governments and for foundations and corporations to join us in implementing this strategy.”
The July 30 launch of the updated strategy included a series of panel discussions and presentations at Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta. Topics ranged from “HIV in the Context of Health and Health Disparities” to “The Unique Perspective and Needs of Populations for Advancing the Updated Strategy.”
In addition to Brooks, participants in the discussions included national leaders in HIV research, policy and advocacy, such as John Auerbach and Jonathan Mermin of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, A. Cornelius Baker of the U.S. Department of State, Gina Brown of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS, Jeffrey S. Crowley of the National HIV/AIDS Initiative, Dázon Dixon Diallo of SisterLove, and many others.
In a pre-recorded video, Obama remarked on the NHAS update. The strategy, he said, “focuses on making sure that every American, no matter who you are, where you live, or how much money you’ve got, can get access to life-extending care.
“We’ve come a long way in the fight against AIDS — and we can’t let up now. For those whose lives are still at risk, and for those who didn’t live to see this moment, let’s keep working for an AIDS-free generation.”
Watch the video:
To follow Twitter updates using the hashtag #HIV2020, click here.
To read an executive summary of the update, click here.
To read the complete updated strategy, click here.
For an AIDS.gov “What You Need to Know” infographic, click here.
For an AIDS.gov “5 Major Changes Since 2010” infographic, click here.
For more information, click here.