National HIV/AIDS Strategy Anniversary Implementation Update
July 14, 2011
Thirty years ago this summer doctors released the first published reports of AIDS. Since then, the disease has devastated our community and others across the world. Its affects have been disproportionately felt among people of color, especially young gay and bisexual men in those communities. At times we have felt that not enough is being done to fight this disease, and we know we all have a lot of work to do.
Yesterday marked the first anniversary of the launch of the comprehensive National HIV/AIDS Strategy. The Strategy, which HRC recommended in the Blueprint for Positive Change, shows President Obama’s commitment and resolve to fighting HIV/AIDS. The Strategy has three goals: 1) reduce the number of new HIV infections, 2) increase access to care and improve health outcomes for people living with HIV, and 3) reduce HIV-related health disparities. The Administration’s mission is for the United States to become 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. HRC shares that vision for our country. Since last July, the Administration has made new, strategic investments in priority HIV/AIDS related activities. These have included: the Enhanced Community HIV Prevention Planning ECHPP initiative, along with expanded investments in HIV surveillance so that all states and local jurisdictions have the capacity to track community viral load, an important tool for monitoring changes in the numbers of new HIV infections. New programs are being established targeting high-risk populations including men who have sex with men as well as in communities of color. During FY 11, the Administration increased funding for the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) by $50 million over the previous year’s enacted level, as well as increased HIV prevention funding at CDC. This was done even though other parts of the agency faced funding cuts. Thanks to the Administration’s leadership harmful policy riders, barring Federal and DC funds from being used for syringe services programs, were not included in the FY11 spending bills. HRC was also active in helping to fend off the riders and in pressuring the Administration for increase ADAP monies. In the past year, we have made great strides in combating HIV/AIDS. HRC will continue to work with the Administration, lawmakers on Capitol Hill, and governmental agencies to fight this disease. But we need your help. We must all work to ensure that the President’s historic National HIV/AIDS Strategy receives the commitment and resources it needs to truly change the course of the epidemic. HRC Senior Public Policy Advocate Andrea Levario contributed to this post.
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