June 5, 2017
More than a name change: AIDS.gov becomes HIV.gov
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services today officially changed the name of AIDS.gov, the federal government’s leading source for information about HIV, to HIV.gov. The announcement coincides with the 36th anniversary of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s first report of the initial cases of what would become known as AIDS. The name change reflects major scientific advances that have transformed an almost universally fatal disease to a condition that, if diagnosed and treated early and continuously, can be controlled and prevented from progressing to AIDS. In fact, there are more people living with HIV in the United States now than people living with AIDS.
“Much progress has been made in HIV/AIDS research since the disease was first recognized in 1981. Today, lifesaving antiretroviral therapies allow those living with HIV to enjoy longer, healthier lives—an outcome that once seemed unattainable,” said Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., director, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. “The website AIDS.gov has been a valuable resource for those seeking information about HIV/AIDS, and its name change to HIV.gov appropriately reflects our evolution in transforming the pandemic, even as work remains to bring about an end to HIV.”
In 2016, more than 8 million people used the AIDS.gov website and its social media channels to find information about HIV or to find HIV-related programs and services, including HIV testing, medical care and treatment. The name change also embraces the way most people now search online for information about the disease. “HIV” is a much more common Internet search term than “AIDS.”
“The shift to HIV.gov is proactive and inclusive, and it sends a strong, supportive message to the 1.1 million people across America who are living with HIV,” said Jonathan Mermin, M.D., M.P.H., director of CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention. “The number of annual HIV infections in the U.S. fell 18 percent between 2008 and 2014, but progress has not been the same for all communities. HIV.gov will deliver current science, accurate information and links to effective resources for the people who need them most.”
“We’ve made important progress in the fight against HIV and AIDS in the United States. These improvements are the hard-won result of decades of work on the part of advocates, healthcare providers, researchers, the federal government—and many others—but our work is not done,” said Richard Wolitski, Ph.D., director of the HHS Office of HIV/AIDS and Infectious Disease Policy. “The newly named website will bring people helpful, timely information to support our collective efforts to sustain and advance our progress in this fight.”
Please visit the new site at HIV.gov and follow its related social media channels.