At a World AIDS Day event at the White House, President Biden announced the release of an updated National HIV/AIDS Strategy and recommitted the United States to ending AIDS as a public health threat by 2030.
In his remarks, President Biden noted the remarkable progress made over 40 years of the AIDS epidemic, as well as the obstacles that continue to hinder progress. He made clear his administration’s commitment to reducing the health inequities still driving high rates of HIV infection for communities of color and restoring U.S. commitment to the international AIDS response.
“We still have a long way to go to bring the epidemic in the U.S. under control, especially among gay men and communities of color.”
“This week, my Administration is releasing an updated National HIV/AIDS Strategy to decrease health inequities in new diagnoses and improve access to comprehensive, evidence-based HIV-prevention tools,” said President Biden. “This updated strategy will make equity a cornerstone of our response and bring a whole-of-government approach to fighting HIV.”
The Strategy, which was originally released in 2010 and updated in 2015 by the Obama/Biden administration, was the country’s first comprehensive framework to address the AIDS epidemic, establishing a set of clear and measurable goals and priorities.
“We still have a long way to go to bring the epidemic in the U.S. under control, especially among gay men and communities of color,” said amfAR Vice President and Director of Public Policy Greg Millett, who was a co-author of the original National AIDS Strategy. “But this certainly appears to be a step in the right direction.”
Newly updated for 2022–2025, the Strategy focuses on four goals: prevent new HIV infections; improve HIV-related health outcomes of people with HIV; reduce HIV-related disparities and health inequities; and achieve integrated, coordinated efforts that address the HIV epidemic among all partners.
The updated Strategy expands the focus on addressing the social determinants of health.
The updated Strategy expands the focus on addressing the social determinants of health that influence an individual’s HIV risk or outcomes, adds a new focus on the needs of the growing population of people with HIV who are aging, and underscores the vital role that the Affordable Care Act plays in the HIV response.
It also puts greater emphasis on harm reduction and syringe services programs, and on better integrating responses to the intersection of HIV, viral hepatitis, sexually transmitted infections, and substance use and mental health disorders. Notably, the updated Strategy recognizes racism as a serious public health threat that drives and affects HIV-related outcomes.
Since taking office earlier this year, the Biden administration has reinstated the White House Office of National AIDS Policy to coordinate efforts to reduce the number of HIV infections throughout the U.S., diversified the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS, and requested $670 million to support the Ending the HIV Epidemic in the U.S. initiative.
Read the updated National HIV/AIDS Strategy here.