Dec 1, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Biden ramps up efforts to tackle HIV and AIDS in revised national strategy


Photo: Oliver Contreras/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Biden administration announced an updated national strategy on HIV and AIDS Wednesday to provide a "whole-of-government" response to the virus and ultimately end the epidemic by 2030.

Why it matters: The updated strategy on HIV and AIDS, announced on World AIDS Day, comes 40 years since the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officially reported the first cases of the virus.

  • The strategy aims to reduce HIV-related disparities and implement bold targets for ending the epidemic, including a 75% reduction in new infections by 2025.
  • It further implements goals to strengthen enforcement of civil rights laws, promote reform of state HIV criminalization laws and curb misinformation surrounding the virus.

Between the lines: The strategy underscores the significant HIV-related disparities among marginalized populations, specifically the LGBTQ+ community and communities of color.

  • Many of the HIV-related disparities come from distrust in the health care system, racism and language barriers, Axios' Eileen Drage O'Reilly writes.

What to expect: The strategy is intended to "provide the framework" for national policies, research and planning to address HIV over the next four years, a senior administration official told Axios.

The big picture: More than 36 million people have died from AIDs-related illness, including 700,000 in the U.S.

  • Examining the disparities in HIV incidence in 2019, the CDC said in June that 70% of new infections were in gay and bisexual men. African Americans accounted for 41% and Hispanic/Latinos 29% of new cases.
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