President Barack Obama has signed an executive order releasing the updated goals of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy over the next 5 years, according to a White House news release.
The updated strategy builds off initial goals established in 2010, which included reducing new cases of HIV, increasing access to care and improving outcomes for patients, reducing health disparities, and refining the national response.
- Major goals outlined in the updated strategy include:
- extensive HIV testing and early access to treatment;
- general support for patients with HIV to continue treatment;
- widespread viral suppression; and
- full access to pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) services.
These efforts are targeted for populations with the highest prevalence for HIV, including those who reside in the South; IV drug users; persons aged 13 to 24 years; men and women who are black or Hispanic; transgender populations; and gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men.
According to recent national estimates outlined in the strategy, HIV management areas that warrant the most improvement are awareness, access to care, adherence to care and viral suppression. Estimates of those living with HIV “clearly indicate areas where increased attention is needed to ensure that all individuals living with HIV in the U.S. are aware of their infection and able to realize the full benefits of available care and treatment,” the release said.
Among the outcomes anticipated by 2020 are federal and community efforts to:
- increase serostatus awareness among patients with HIV to at least 90%;
- reduce new HIV cases by at least 25%;
- increase access to care within 1 month of diagnosis to at least 85%;
- increase engagement in care to at least 90%;
- increase viral suppression to at least 80%;
- reduce mortality rates among HIV patients by at least 33%; and
- increase viral suppression among younger populations and IV drug users with HIV to at least 80%.
A federal action plan supporting the implementation of the strategy will be released in December, according to the release.
The HIV Medicine Association (HIVMA) praised the updated strategy in a press release that also commemorated the 50th anniversary of Medicaid and Medicare, the largest programs that support HIV care.
In addition to the goals outlined in the National HIV/AIDS Strategy, HIVMA encourages the expansion of Medicaid to the 20 states that do not honor the program, an end to discriminatory insurer practices that hinder ART access, and the establishment of a budget deal supporting HIV prevention efforts by the CDC, the Ryan White Program, the NIH, the Agency for Health Care Quality and Research and other federal research institutions.