Ambition to Eliminate HIV - Thoughts?
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During the State of the Union speech on February 5, 2019, President Donald Trump called for a bipartisan commitment to end the HIV epidemic in the United States within a decade. Despite not having an appropriated budget for this initiative , the Health and Human Services Secretary added that the this initiative could reduce new HIV infections by 75 percent in the next five years and 90 percent in the next 10 years.
Major work is needed to be done to accomplish this goal as government statistics show that about 38,000 people were infected with HIV in the United States in 2017.
A consensus exists among experts that eliminating HIV involves increasing prevention methods and efforts in the most at-risk communities: gay men, blacks and Latinos and, intravenous drug users; and in 48 counties, Washington, and San Juan.
Some of the major HIV prevention methods include increasing access for infected individuals to antiretroviral medications in order to stop infected individuals from infecting non-infected persons and increasing access for at-risk communities to Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis treatments (PrEP), which is revolutionary HIV prevention drugs that have proven to be almost 100 percent effective against infection, but severely underused. However, ensuring access can be a major challenge in the United States where health care and the health insurance system is constantly changing, or being threatened, with bureaucracy. Additionally, access is very difficult for many groups, especially low income.
Another major prevention method that has fell to the side, is to focus on promoting safe sex through the use of condoms. Reports show that approximately two-thirds of infections occur among men having sex with men.
What do you think about this new initiative? Do you think it is attainable?
Have you heard of, or had any experience with, these prevention methods?
Any other advice, opinions, experiences?
Sounds great! It would be a God send if we were able to eliminate HIV infections here in the US. I agree with the statement that access is the most important. I for one have never heard of PrEP medications until recently, so education on, and access to, preventative methods is key!
Not much of a fan of the administration currently, but hope it follows through with this imitative. Prevention is key and in order to have people participate in prevention they must know the prevention exists. So I agree it is important to extend resources to the most affected populations in order to educate them on the preventative methods available; I think the government should also continue to and consider giving out subsidies in a sense for people to afford such treatments... especially the PrEP medications.
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