In a statement during the 2019 State of the Union address, President Trump proposed ending the HIV epidemic by reducing new infections by 75% in the next five years and 90% in the next decade.
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar hailed Trump’s statement as an important public health initiative.
“This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to end the epidemic, thanks to the most powerful HIV prevention and treatment tools in history and new tools that allow us to pinpoint where HIV infections are spreading most rapidly,” Azar said.
Citing that the United States spends more than $20 billion annually in direct health expenditures for HIV prevention and care, the president’s plan, Ending the HIV Epidemic: A Plan for America, will direct funding and education to the specific communities with the highest HIV rates.
“This is not just as a biomedical issue, but a social challenge, too,” Azar said, vowing to see significant reductions in the near future. Elements of the president’s new plan include:
- Increasing investments in geographic hotspots through existing programs
- Using data to identify where HIV is spreading most rapidly and guide decision-making to address prevention, care, and treatment needs at the local level
- Providing funds for the creation of local HIV “health forces” in targeted areas to expand prevention and treatment.