An End To The US HIV Epidemic? For Real?
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for some time. A number of agencies under HHS have been working together to develop an ambitious, but potentially achievable agenda. These agencies include the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA), Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Indian Health Service and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
This plan comes about by first understanding where HIV is concentrated in the country. While it is estimated that there are 40,000 new infections every year in the U.S., half of these infections occur in just 48 counties and a disproportionate number of rural infections occur in just seven states. This allows more resources to be channeled to these problem areas.
The primary goal of this initiative is to reduce new infections in the US by 75% over 5 years and by 90% at 10 years. We definitely have the tools to do it. Recall the rallying cry “U=U”, meaning that patients who are taking their HIV medicines and effectively controlled do not infect other people (through sex, sharing needles or any other way; see my article, Medication Adherence: The Achille’s Heel of U=U).
We also know that people can be protected from getting infected in the first place by using