Feb 6, 2019

How Trump's plan to curb HIV can succeed

The White House on World AIDS Day in December 2018. Photo: Chen Mengtong/China News Service/VCG via Getty Images

The Trump administration is already rolling out more details about one of the president's most ambitious State of the Union pledges: "to eliminate the HIV epidemic in the United States within 10 years."

By the numbers: Roughly 40,000 people get HIV each year, and that rate has held steady for a while now.

  • More than half of all new HIV infections are concentrated in just 48 counties, as well as Washington, D.C., and San Juan, Puerto Rico, according to the Health and Human Services Department.

How it works: With HIV, as public-health experts like to say, "treatment is prevention."

  • There's no cure for HIV, but if patients adhere to their treatment regimen long enough, the virus can become so deeply suppressed that it's undetectable in their blood — and once it's that weak, it also can't be transmitted.

The bottom line: If you really could get enough people tested (about 165,000 Americans don't know they're HIV-positive, per HHS), and help patients access and stick with drugs to treat the virus, that really could make a difference.

  • The goal will be to reduce new infections by 75% in the next 5 years and by 90% in the next 10 years, HHS said.

Go deeper: Panel recommends HIV preventive pill for high-risk individuals

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Trump says he will campaign against Lisa Murkowski after her support for Mattis

Trump with Barr and Meadows outside St. John's Episcopal church in Washington, D.C. on June 1. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump tweeted on Thursday that he would endorse "any candidate" with a pulse who runs against Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).

Driving the news: Murkowski said on Thursday that she supported former defense secretary James Mattis' condemnation of Trump over his response to protests in the wake of George Floyd's killing. She described Mattis' statement as "true, honest, necessary and overdue," Politico's Andrew Desiderio reports.

4 hours ago - World

The president vs. the Pentagon

Trump visits Mattis and the Pentagon in 2018. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty

Over the course of just a few hours, President Trump was rebuffed by the Secretary of Defense over his call for troops in the streets and accused by James Mattis, his former Pentagon chief, of trampling the Constitution for political gain.

Why it matters: Current and former leaders of the U.S. military are drawing a line over Trump's demand for a militarized response to the protests and unrest that have swept the country over the killing of George Floyd by police.

New York Times says Tom Cotton op-ed did not meet standards

Photo: Avalon/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

A New York Times spokesperson said in a statement Thursday that the paper will be changing its editorial board processes after a Wednesday op-ed by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), which called for President Trump to "send in the troops" in order to quell violent protests, failed to meet its standards.

Why it matters: The shift comes after Times employees began a coordinated movement on social media on Wednesday and Thursday that argued that publishing the op-ed put black staff in danger. Cotton wrote that Trump should invoke the Insurrection Act in order to deploy the U.S. military against rioters that have overwhelmed police forces in cities across the country.