Trump's call to end HIV epidemic hindered by his administration's policies

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. He also underscored the importance of HRSA's Health Center Program, which supports 12,000 delivery sites across the country and provides care to more than 27 million Americans annually.

"Together, we will defeat AIDS in America and beyond", he added.

Federal government scientists have been coordinating for months on the new plan, which combines broader efforts to stem transmission of HIV with better treatment for people who are already infected.

Today's HIV treatments work so well they not only can give people with the AIDS virus a near-normal life expectancy, they offer a double whammy - making those patients less likely to infect other people. Through provided funds, a local HIV HealthForce will be created in these counties through partnerships with state, territorial, local, and tribal health departments, "putting boots on the ground to ensure this progress is made", said Redfield.

In recent years a number of health organizations, including the United Nations, have called for co-ordinated steps to end the HIV epidemic by 2030.

Redfield said he was "shocked" to see that just 48 out of 3 000 counties in the United States accounted for half of all new HIV infections.

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

The 48 counties HHS is focussing on are mainly metro areas. The department plans to direct funding to those areas to boost resources for fighting HIV and AIDS. But while most stakeholders say the administration's goal can be realized with the progress that has been made in treatments and prevention in the past two decades, they remain mostly skeptical of the White House's commitment to the effort. So, "if you put those two together, you could theoretically end the epidemic as we know it". 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. 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.

Jacqueline Wilson of Jackson was diagnosed as HIV positive in 2006. But we also should not reject a plan to end the HIV epidemic by 2030 because of where it originated from, and those of us who are able to should do everything we can to mold this plan in our image at the same time we continue to fight back against the Trump administration on so many other fronts. Whether it's rolling back Medicaid expansion, dismantling the Affordable Care Act protections for people living with pre-existing conditions, banning people living with HIV from serving in the military or the Peace Corps, trying to take away access to HIV medications for seniors on Medicare, changing the Public Charge rule to impose a de facto HIV ban and financial litmus test on immigrants coming to the United States, or any of the numerous discriminatory actions taken against LGBTQ people living in the country, the Trump administration has shown over and over again that it is not our friend and is not to be trusted. We have PrEP now which is highly effective and readily available.

"It sounds very much like teleprompter Trump saying words but not being invested in the statement itself", said Scott Schoettes, counsel and HIV project director for Lambda Legal, a civil rights organization focused on the LGBT community.



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