CDC Plans on-the-Ground 'HIV Elimination Teams' for Trump Plan

Leslie Hanson
February 9, 2019

"The President's attacks on the Affordable Care Act and proposed cuts to non-defense discretionary spending have threatened to undermine our efforts to end the HIV epidemic", according to AIDS United's statement. Nor was it anger at the hypocrisy of a man who had devoted his first two years in office to dismantling our nation's health care safety net and slashing HIV spending in his annual budget requests having the audacity to talk about the progress "we have made" in preventing and treating HIV. Now Trump administration might make a game-changing announcement for helping HIV patients.

Briefing reporters ahead of Trump's State of the Union speech, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and senior public health officials said the campaign relies on fresh insights into where about half of new HIV cases occur - 48 out of some 3,000 US counties, and Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and seven states with at-risk rural residents. Leveraging their 19 Centers for AIDS Research around the country, NIH will also provide prevention and treatment tools for these HIV hotspots.

The goal is to reduce new infections by 75 percent over five years and to "end the HIV epidemic in America" by 2030, said Alex Azar, the secretary of health and human services, who coordinated development of the ambitious plan, outlined by Trump in his State of the Union address. More than one million Americans live with the disease, and there are about 40,000 new cases of the infection each year, according to the AP. The short answer is, no, HIV advocates should not trust the Trump administration. Trump's ten-year plan to fight against world's most unsafe disease will be a game changer for the Trump Administration because they haven't shown any vital importance to health sectors.

And yet, I believe we should work with the Trump administration on its plan to end the HIV epidemic. Additionally, people living with HIV along with their healthcare providers will be invested and supported in achieving undetectable viral loads. However, with new HIV infections being clustered in a limited number of counties, proven strategies to detect and bring people into care, effective antiretroviral therapy, prevention strategies with pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), and supportive programs such as the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program, the country is in a position to reawaken the fight against HIV, he said.

In his State of the Union address, President Trump promised that his administration would try to end the transmission of HIV/AIDS in the U.S. William Brangham learns more from Jon Cohen of Science Magazine and Carlos del Rio of Emory University School of Medicine about the attainability of this goal, the practical and political challenges and what could help. As HIV advocates, it is our job to influence their decisions as much as possible with the limited access we have. Medicaid is "the single largest source of coverage for people with HIV in the US", according to Kaiser Family Foundation, but the Trump administration encouraged states to cut funding for the program. No amount of funding included in this plan can offset the harm done by a domestic agenda that centers abstinence-based sex education, criminalizes abortion, demonizes immigrants, and promotes white nationalism. Things like health insurance, racism, poverty and other social determinants need to be considered.

This article was provided by TheBody.

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