President Barack Obama unveiled an ambitious new strategy Tuesday to fight the spread of HIV/AIDS that sets a goal of reducing new infections by 25 percent over the next five years.
The strategy also calls for getting treatment for 85 percent of patients within three months of their diagnosis and increasing education about the virus, even in communities with low rates of infection, AP reported.
More than 1.1 million Americans live with HIV. About 56,000 are infected each year.
“President Obama believes that we must re-focus public attention on ending the domestic HIV epidemic,” said a White House statement.
“The vision for the National HIV/AIDS Strategy is simple:The United States will become a place where new HIV infections are rare, and when they do occur, every person, regardless of age, gender, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, or socio-economic circumstance will have unfettered access to high-quality, life-extending care, free from stigma and discrimination.”
The NHAS will receive $30 million in funding from the Affordable Care Act’s Prevention Fund for implementation of the program.
The Congressional Black Caucus released a statement Tuesday applauded the initiative.
“I applaud the President for developing this new National AIDS Strategy and laying out a roadmap for how our country must address this devastating disease,” said Congresswoman and CBC Chair Barbara Lee (D-Calif.).
“Even as we welcome the release of this strategy, we must also recognize the urgent need for additional funding to eliminate the current waiting lists for life-saving AIDS drugs in states around the country,” she said. “Our charge in Congress must now be to ensure that we provide the necessary resources to address these urgent needs and ensure that this new strategy gets implemented quickly and effectively.”