The Obama administration's plans to counter the U.S. HIV epidemic were highlighted when James Albino, a senior program manager for the Office of National AIDS Policy, met with members of the Delaware HIV Planning Council on Oct. 21.
Albino helped draft the National HIV/AIDS Strategy, which the White House introduced in July. By 2015, the United States wants to cut by 25 percent the number of new HIV infections occurring annually, from roughly 56,000 currently to about 42,000.
Other goals include intensifying and targeting HIV prevention efforts; supporting people diagnosed with the disease and ensuring their access to coordinated medical care and other basic necessities; adopting community-generated approaches to reduce HIV/AIDS stigma and discrimination; and increasing coordination of HIV programs within the federal government.
Central to the strategy is making HIV infection a rare occurrence that is treated with high-quality care regardless of the circumstances. "We think that is a powerful statement," said Albino. "The idea is that this is a disease that needs to be treated irrespective of how [patients] were infected."
Since the strategy's launch, federal agencies have been discussing the best ways to monitor progress toward these goals, Albino said.
Those at greatest risk of infection are men who have sex with men, and IV drug users. While the United States does not have a generalized HIV epidemic, Albino said the disease is disproportionately affecting African Americans. For example, in Delaware, blacks make up 21 percent of the population but 64 percent of HIV cases.
Back to other news for October 2010
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
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