White House Announces National HIV/AIDS StrategyPresident Obama

To combat the growing epidemic of HIV/AIDS infections, the White House has released the National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS) and accompanying NHAS Federal Implementation Plan.

With approximately 56,000 people becoming infected with HIV each year in the United States, and more than 1.1 million Americans already living with HIV, President Obama said in a released statement that “I am committed to renewing national leadership to fight HIV/AIDS here at home, as we continue our efforts to fight HIV/AIDS around the world.” Secretary Sebelius also announced that $30 million of the Affordable Care Act’s Prevention Fund will be dedicated to the implementation of the NHAS. This funding will support the development of combination prevention interventions. It will also support improved surveillance, expanded and targeted testing, and other activities. Secretary Sebelius

“We can’t afford complacency – not when in the ten minutes I’ve been talking to you, another American has just contracted HIV,” Secretary Sebelius said. “That’s why our strategy calls for aggressive efforts to educate Americans about how dangerous this disease still is and the steps they can take to protect themselves and their loved ones.”

The vision of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy is to make the United States “a place where new HIV infections are rare, and when they do occur, every person, regardless of age, gender, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, or socio-economic circumstance will have unfettered access to high-quality, life-extending care, free from stigma and discrimination.”

The NHAS has three primary goals:

1) Reducing the number of new infections;
2) Increasing access to care and optimizing health outcomes for people living with HIV;
3) Reducing HIV-related health disparities;

To accomplish these goals, the NHAS calls for a more coordinated national response to the HIV epidemic and includes a NHAS Federal Implementation Plan that outlines key, short-term actions to be undertaken by the federal government to execute the outlined recommendations. Additionally, the White House issued a Presidential Memorandum directing agencies to take specific steps to implement this strategy. 

Since taking office, the Obama Administration has taken extraordinary steps to engage the public to evaluate what we are doing right and identify new approaches that will strengthen our response to the domestic epidemic. The Office of National AIDS Policy hosted 14 HIV/AIDS Community Discussions with thousands of Americans across the U.S. and reviewed suggestions from the public via the White House website. ONAP also organized a series of expert meetings on several HIV-specific topics, and worked with Federal and community partners who organized their own meetings to support the development of a national strategy.

Go to www.AIDS.gov and www.whitehouse.gov/onap for more information and resources.

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