Making Trumps Anti HIV Plan Work Is Not So Easy

CDC Plans on-the-Ground 'HIV Elimination Teams' for Trump Plan

President Donald Trump delivers his State of the Union address, at the Capitol in Washington, Feb. 5, 2019.

Trump's bold statement in his second State of the Union address Tuesday first triggered words of hope from America's embattled front-line groups that fight the deadly disease.

Dr. Brock says one of the biggest barriers to ending HIV and AIDS is the way the healthcare system is structured. The Miami area - where 1 in 1,000 people have HIV - has the highest rate of new diagnosis of any metro area in the country, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. About 37 million people around the world live with HIV today, and 22 million of those are receiving treatment.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has released a plan that will use a combination of prevention and treatment to eliminate 90 percent of new HIV cases in the United States by 2030. To help pinpoint where the need for testing and treatment was greatest, "we actually lifted the number of infections in each county, and that allowed us to sort of rank the counties in terms of how they were contributing to the annual infections in America". The city, along with Montgomery and Prince George's counties, is among the areas where the federal health department estimates about half of new HIV cases occur - including 48 of some 3,000 counties nationwide, seven states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.

HIV researchers and patient advocates have long known that the virus hits certain groups hardest, most notably gay and bisexual men of colour.

"We've never had that kind of "This is the target", said Dr Anthony Fauci, the government's pre-eminent AIDS warrior and head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

However, as the epidemic disproportionately affects racial and ethnic minorities, women of colour, and men who have sex with men, the drive to end the HIV spread is more a social issue than a scientific one.

Last week, Governor JB Pritzker signed an executive order to take action to end the HIV epidemic and reduce health disparities by ensuring the state is investing in agencies, programs, and services that work to end the HIV epidemic. Hardy said any meaningful policy to lower HIV infections would have to target interventions that expand care for LGBTQ individuals since gay and bisexual men account for almost 70% of new HIV infections, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Medicaid is the single-largest source of insurance for HIV care services, covering more than 40% of people with HIV, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

"Every 44 minutes, a 13- to 29-year-old gay or bisexual man in the United States gets diagnosed with HIV", Mustanski added.

IDPH has also joined the Chicago Department of Public Health, AIDS Foundation of Chicago, community based-organizations, health care providers, government agencies, people living with HIV, and others on "Getting to Zero, ' a plan to end HIV in IL".

HIV cases in MS are among the highest in the nation.

Mustanski believes that any plan aimed at eradicating HIV transmission within a decade must make PrEP available to these underserved communities. "As a result, only about half of young people in the U.S. who are HIV-positive know their status, which is the entry point to lifesaving treatment that can also eliminate transmission".

Redfield said the proposed initiative will focus on "four key strategies to meet the needs of communities with the highest HIV burden: diagnose new HIV infections; treat those with infection rapidly and effectively; protect people from being infected through access to comprehensive prevention and treatment, including medications that can prevent infection; and respond quickly to and stop new outbreaks".

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