The two most recent administrations prioritized ending the HIV epidemic, which has claimed the lives of more than 700,000 Americans since the virus was first identified in the 1980s. To follow those initial efforts, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a strategic roadmap to end the HIV epidemic and reduce new HIV infections by 90% by 2030.
“The HIV National Strategic Plan builds on the lessons learned and progress made over the past decade under the nation’s first two national HIV/AIDS strategies,” Kaye Hayes, MPA, acting director of the Office of Infectious Disease and HIV/AIDS Policy, said.
HHS’s latest roadmap will focus on four areas:
- Prevent new HIV infections.
- Improve HIV-related health outcomes.
- Reduce HIV-related health disparities.
- Achieve integrated and coordinated efforts that address the HIV epidemic among all partners and stakeholders.
To reduce new infections, HHS is assessing the current state of HIV-positive youth with the Building Futures for Youth Living With HIV and partnering with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to spread patient education through the AIDS Education and Training Center. To improve patient outcomes, HHS is funding education and collaboration for the HIV healthcare workforce. To address and reduce disparities, HHS is funding improved care in minority communities and developing digital tools so HIV-positive patients can participate in planning bodies, boards of directors, and other related organizations. HHS is also integrating housing data into HIV healthcare data systems to enhance care coordination and delivery.
HIV and AIDS prevention is cancer prevention. Oncology nurses can advocate for HIV-positive patients with cancer to ensure that every population is represented in clinical trials, federal budgets, and local communities.