Trump vows to end HIV spread within 10 years, critics skeptical

09 February, 2019, 20:11 | Author: Lillian Steele
  • CDC Plans on-the-Ground 'HIV Elimination Teams' for Trump Plan

In the annual State of the Union address delivered on Tuesday night, Trump urged his audience in Congress to work on to "eliminate the HIV epidemic" in the country "within 10 years". More than one million Americans live with the disease.

AIDS United, a non-profit organization, said in a statement that they "are cautiously encouraged" by Trump's promise, since "this administration's actions speak louder than words and have moved us in the wrong direction".

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.

"The administration's plan will deploy the people and key prevention and treatment strategies needed to reduce new HIV infections by 75 percent over the next 5 years, with the hope of a 90 percent reduction within 10 years", Redfield said. It includes curbing the speed of latent infections by recurrently testing people who find themselves at extreme danger, providing them medicine known as PrEP to stop an infection and beginning individuals on virus-suppressing medication instantly after prognosis. Since then, more than 700,000 people with AIDS have died in the United States, according to the CDC.

There are about 40,000 new cases of HIV infections a year in the US.

Briefing reporters ahead of Trump's State of the Union speech, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and senior public health officials said the campaign relies on fresh insights into where about half of new HIV cases occur - 48 out of some 3,000 USA counties, and Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and seven states with at-risk rural residents.

One recent advance has been the emergence of drugs like Truvada, which are used for both treating active infection and as "pre-exposure prophylaxis" (PrEP) - a preventive strategy for people deemed at high risk for infection.

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"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.

"It showed we had a very geographically focused outbreak, that if we could augment the capacity of those 48 counties to respond to new infections we could drastically reduce the number of new infections", he said.

Speaking at the Wednesday briefing, he stressed that "if you treat an individual and bring their viral load to below detectable levels, they will not transmit their virus to another individual".

NPR: Halting U.S. HIV Epidemic By 2030: Difficult But Doable (Neel/Simmons-Duffin, 2/6). 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.

"Every 44 minutes, a 13- to 29-year-old gay or bisexual man in the United States gets diagnosed with HIV", Mustanski added. Also, counsellors ensure tracking of HIV positive patients through telephone and home visits in the case of those who drop out between diagnosis and treatment to maintain their adherence to treatment, the sources said.

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".

'I think the HIV community would work with the administration on this issue if they're serious, but it's also going to take real action, including possibly regulatory and legislative changes to achieve the goal, ' said McColl.

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