SAN FRANCISCO, July 16, 2013—The Obama administration has launched two bold initiatives to help end the HIV epidemic in the United States, focusing new energy on testing and early treatment of HIV. San Francisco AIDS Foundation applauds the efforts and stands ready to help the president realize his goal of creating an AIDS-free generation.
“The Obama administration is now redoubling its efforts to reduce new HIV infections and provide proper care to all people living with HIV nationwide,” said Neil Giuliano, CEO of San Francisco AIDS Foundation. “We know from our work here in San Francisco that increased testing and early treatment of HIV is highly effective at stopping the spread of the disease. It’s this kind of evidence-based approach that will help us end the transmission of HIV.”
The administration issued an executive order, on the third anniversary of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy, to create the HIV Care Consortium Initiative. It directs federal agencies to prioritize addressing the continuum of HIV care by accelerating efforts and directing existing federal resources to increase HIV testing, services, and treatment, and to improve patient access to all three.
The administration is also launching a new multi-year demonstration project to expand the capacity of community health centers, local health departments, and their grantees to better integrate HIV prevention and treatment across the continuum of care. The project will target areas with large racial and ethnic minority populations, which are disproportionately affected by the epidemic, and communities with a substantial unmet need for comprehensive HIV services.
“The Obama administration is making good on an key tenet of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy to focus resources on populations most disproportionately impacted by HIV, which is an important step towards reducing persistent health disparities in gay and bisexual men and women of color,” said Ernest Hopkins, director of legislative affairs at San Francisco AIDS Foundation. “These new efforts will improve health outcomes for those living with HIV and prevent more people from becoming HIV infected.”
A working group chaired by Grant Colfax, director of the Office of National AIDS Policy and former director of HIV prevention and research at the San Francisco Department of Public Health, and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will provide annual recommendations to the president on actions to take to improve HIV care outcomes.
About San Francisco AIDS Foundation
No city experienced epidemic levels of HIV faster than San Francisco. At San Francisco AIDS Foundation, we work to end the epidemic where it first took hold, and eventually everywhere. Established in 1982, our mission is the radical reduction of new infections in San Francisco. Through education, advocacy, and direct services for prevention and care, we are confronting HIV in communities most vulnerable to the disease. We refuse to accept that HIV transmission is inevitable. For more information, go to www.sfaf.org.