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

09 February 2019

President Donald Trump delivers the State of the Union address in the chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives on February 5, 2019.

Over 1 million Americans are now living with HIV.

"Together, we will defeat Aids in America and beyond", the president told the nation.

But new infections often cluster in certain "high-risk" communities, added Dr Robert Redfield, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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. For years, the tireless efforts of HIV advocates to end the HIV epidemic in the United States had been ignored by broad swaths of the political establishment in Washington, with only a handful of doggedly determined champions in Congress to make sure that funding for HIV programming wasn't cut and to fight back against the discrimination, criminalization, and stigmatization of people living with HIV.

There are about 40,000 new cases of HIV infections a year in the US. In a blog post released in concert with the State of the Union, HHS Secretary Alex Azar outlined the administration's plan to end the HIV epidemic, which will mirror its plan for combatting the opioid epidemic by providing targeted investment and resources for the 48 US counties (along with Washington, D.C. and San Juan, Puerto Rico) that contain more than half of newly diagnosed HIV cases, along with seven states where the epidemic is heavily impacting rural areas. The department plans to direct funding to those areas to boost resources for fighting HIV and AIDS.

The 48 counties HHS is focusing on are mainly metro areas. "We have treatment as prevention".

At the same time, a longtime HIV medication named Truvada can prevent infection if taken daily by healthy people who are at risk from their infected sexual partners, a strategy known as "pre-exposure prophylaxis" or PreP.

Dr Anthony Fauci directs the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and has always been on the forefront of the fight against HIV/Aids. They will know what their viral load is and that's what looks at how infectious you are and whether you're able to pass the infection.

Last week, Governor JB Pritzker signed an executive order to take action to end the HIV epidemic and reduce health disparities by ensuring the state is investing in agencies, programs, and services that work to end the HIV epidemic. In 2017, almost 17,000 black people in the USA received a new HIV diagnosis according to the CDC.

Millions of people worldwide have died from HIV, but the advent of potent antiretroviral drug cocktails in the mid-1990s revolutionized care, keeping viral levels down to undetectable levels and stopping the onset of Aids.

The initial goal is to reduce new HIV infections by 75 per cent in five years.

"Every 44 minutes, a 13- to 29-year-old gay or bisexual man in the USA gets diagnosed with HIV", Mustanski added.

Reported cases of AIDS and HIV are on the rise in this state.

Officials have been planning an offensive against HIV with the precision of a military campaign. They said reducing new HIV infections would require addressing problems that hinder access to healthcare for those with HIV, such as increasing health insurance coverage, reducing the impact of socio-economic health determinants, and eliminating existing stigmas of those living with the virus. "As a result, only about half of young people in the USA who are HIV-positive know their status, which is the entry point to lifesaving treatment that can also eliminate transmission".

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