Over the nearly 30 years since the AIDS epidemic began, HHS has been working closely with its partners to respond to the HIV and AIDS crisis in the United States. Now, because of these efforts, HHS has better diagnostic capabilities to test more people, more quickly, and has more effective treatments that enable people living with HIV to enjoy longer, healthier lives. However, HIV and AIDS continue to exact a significant toll on Americans of all ages. An estimated 1.1 million Americans are living with HIV today. HHS is expanding its efforts to prevent new infections, ensuring access to appropriate care and treatment for those living with HIV and AIDS, and focusing on communities most affected. HHS participated with federal partner agencies and the White House Office of National AIDS Policy to develop a National HIV/AIDS Strategy and HHS is working to achieve the goals in the strategy.
- Reduce New HIV Infections
In order to reduce new HIV infections, HHS is working to intensify HIV prevention efforts in communities where HIV is most heavily concentrated; expand targeted efforts to prevent HIV infection using a combination of effective, evidence-based approaches; and educate all Americans about the threat of HIV and how to prevent it. Achieving this goal will require active steps to diagnose Americans who are infected with HIV yet unaware of their health condition.
- Increase Access to Care and Improve Health Outcomes
In order to improve access to care and health outcomes for all persons living with HIV/AIDS, HHS is working to ensure that persons who are newly diagnosed are immediately linked to high-quality and continuous care; increase the number and diversity of providers who are able to deliver high-quality HIV care; and support people living with HIV who have other health conditions and/or require basic support, such as housing. HHS will continue to actively engage with a broad variety of partners in implementing the Affordable Care Act so that people living with HIV/AIDS can benefit from expansion of Medicaid, increased funding for prevention, and the creation of health insurance exchanges. Equally critical is the need to develop new and better therapies and improved drug regimens.
- Reduce HIV-Related Disparities and Health Inequities
To support a concerted national effort to reduce health-related disparities and inequities in HIV care, HHS is working to reduce HIV-related mortality in communities at high risk for HIV infection; adopt community-level approaches to reduce HIV infection in high-risk communities; and reduce stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV.
- Support Global Efforts to Achieve the National HIV/AIDS Strategy’s Goals
HHS is actively engaged in global partnerships to reduce the impact of HIV/AIDS. It is partnering with health organizations and countries across the world to reduce death and disease, and leveraging resources to maximize international research. HHS is providing technical expertise, health and scientific leadership, and on-the-ground experience in health systems around the world for prevention and eradication of HIV/AIDS.