In a blog post released in concert with the State of the Union, HHS Secretary Alex Azar outlined the administration's plan to end the HIV epidemic, which will mirror its plan for combatting the opioid epidemic by providing targeted investment and resources for the 48 US counties (along with Washington, D.C. and San Juan, Puerto Rico) that contain more than half of newly diagnosed HIV cases, along with seven states where the epidemic is heavily impacting rural areas.
Following President Trump's second State of the Union address, where he announced plans to end the HIV epidemic, HIV experts outlined a comprehensive plan to do so. The initiative's fate will depend on Congress, which will decide whether to fund the new proposal and, if so, by how much.
Dr. José M. Zuniga, president of the International Association of Providers of AIDS Care, hailed the new initiative. 'This is about execution'. Through the plan announced Wednesday, the Ryan White program will increase its capacity to provide HIV care and treatment for people newly diagnosed with HIV and those living with HIV who are not now retained in care, as well as work with program recipients to expand evidence-based interventions for maintaining care and viral suppression.
Azar said new infections were "highly concentrated among men who have sex with men; minorities, especially African-Americans and American Indians and Alaska Natives; and those who live in the Southern United States". "And then looking at the preventative side, getting individuals tested and then offering them PrEP services". The states are Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma and SC.
The details around funding for the president's ending the epidemic plan are still murky, but the overall shape of what the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and other federal agencies are planning has already started coming into focus. "The most recent data suggest that progress in reducing new infections has plateaued, and many communities remain vulnerable to HIV infection". Nothing that it has done in the past two years should lead anyone living with or affected by HIV to believe that administration officials will do right by them of their own accord. "As a result, only about half of young people in the USA who are HIV-positive know their status, which is the entry point to lifesaving treatment that can also eliminate transmission".
"My budget will ask Democrats and Republicans to make the needed commitment to eliminate the HIV epidemic in the United States within 10 years", Mr. Trump said during the address Tuesday night.
William McColl of AIDS United said the Trump administration's goal is 'very doable, ' based on now available technology and trends. They intend to deploy platoons of local healthcare staff to step up the prevention, prognosis, and therapy of infections. They took the idea to Trump, who 'is personally invested in this, ' said Azar. According to reports Trump is going to give a speech on health issues which are being faced by HIV patients, and he is going to announce ending this terrible disease by the end of 2030.