AIDS United and ACT NOW: END AIDS Release Community-Driven Roadmap to End HIV Epidemic in U.S. by 2025
Urge federal action to make this official goal of U.S. government
Washington, DC – For the first time since the National HIV/AIDS Strategy in 2010, the domestic HIV community has come together to call on the U.S. government to declare an official goal of ending the domestic HIV epidemic by 2025 and urging it to enact legislative and regulatory policies and sufficient appropriations to achieve this goal. The Act Now: End AIDS coalition, with a process managed by AIDS United, solicited input from the larger HIV, public health and reproductive health communities to develop the policy paper, titled Ending the HIV Epidemic in the United States: A Roadmap for Federal Action. To date, 250 HIV and community organizations from across the U.S. have provided their endorsement.
“The more than 1.2 million people living with HIV in the U.S. reside in every congressional district, state, and territory,” stated Jesse Milan, Jr., president and CEO of AIDS United. “However, new cases of HIV and HIV-related deaths have become increasingly concentrated in communities of color, LGBTQ populations, and Southern states. While some individual communities have already begun taking concrete steps to end their state and local epidemics, ending the national HIV epidemic requires a coordinated federal response.”
The National HIV/AIDS Strategy was first released almost a decade ago and has provided the direction necessary for many successes. We’ve seen the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the advent of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), wide recognition that Undetectable=Untransmittable, and a more than 12 percent decline in new HIV diagnoses.
“We’ve also seen disparities widen, particularly among gay, bisexual and transgender communities of color, where new infections are up and access to recent biomedical advances are increasingly harder for them to obtain,” added Milan. “National leaders change, but medical research advances and new public health solutions are developed all the time. Now is time the to reevaluate our approaches, so that we can identify points of strength and gaps that need to be addressed.”
“HIV/AIDS is an urgent human rights and public health crisis, impacting millions in the U.S. and around the world. While the U.S. has made progress toward greater health care equity, disparities in HIV rates remain a serious issue for too many people and communities. This, despite the fact that we know what works: offering low-cost or free screenings, PrEP/PEP prescriptions, and effective contraceptives to those who need it,” added Planned Parenthood Federation of America President Dr. Leana Wen. “As one of the nation’s leading HIV testing providers, Planned Parenthood stands in full support of the HIV Community’s effort to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the United States.”
The plan addresses the syndemic issues of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI), Viral Hepatitis, Tuberculosis, and the Opioid epidemics that are fueling significantly the HIV epidemic. Structural needs such as housing are also addressed. The paper, which began more than a year ago in AIDS United’s Public Policy Council, includes economic models for resources needed and calls for increased funding for medical research.
“The resilience, wisdom, and agency of affected communities must guide the implementation of any national plan to end the HIV epidemic in the U.S,” explains Dazon Dixon Diallo, Founder & President, SisterLove, Inc. and Co-Chair, ACT NOW: END AIDS. “This roadmap was developed by people working in and from these very communities. We have first-hand experience implementing similar strategies locally and as such, have unique expertise. This document has coalesced the larger HIV community behind one plan and one big, audacious goal. The federal government would be wise to tap into that energy. Together, we might just make history.”
About AIDS United:
AIDS United’s mission is to end the AIDS epidemic in the U.S. through strategic grant-making, capacity building, and policy. AIDS United works to ensure access to life-saving HIV/AIDS care and prevention services and to advance sound HIV/AIDS-related policy for U.S. populations and communities most impacted by the epidemic. To date, our strategic grant-making initiatives have directly funded more than $104 million to local communities and have leveraged more than $117 million in additional investments for programs that include, but are not limited to HIV prevention, access to care, capacity building, harm reduction and advocacy. www.aidsunited.org
About ACT NOW: END AIDS:
ACT NOW: END AIDS is comprised of organizations and leaders who have been working on HIV/AIDS research, services, and advocacy since the height of the epidemic in the 1990s. The coalition works to provide technical assistance to individuals and organizations nationwide who are doing work on the city, state, and regional level to address the specific needs of their communities in terms of policy, budget, outreach, and education, and facilitates relationships with health departments to share the data necessary to set and achieve benchmarks to ending the epidemic. ACT NOW coalition members include: Treatment Action Group, Housing Works, National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS, Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC), New York AIDS Institute, AIDS United, Black AIDS Institute, 30 for 30, NASTAD, AIDS Alabama, Latino Commission on AIDS, San Francisco AIDS Foundation, NMAC, Southern HIV/AIDS Strategy Initiative, AIDS Foundation of Chicago, Southern AIDS Coalition, AIDS Free Pittsburgh, Sister Love, Getting to Zero Massachusetts, END AIDS Dallas, Legacy Community Health. https://www.facebook.com/ActNowEndAIDS/