On the 35th anniversary of World AIDS Day, the Biden-Harris Administration reaffirms its commitment to accelerating HIV/AIDS-related efforts and supporting those affected.
The administration remains dedicated to implementing the National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS) and achieving the bipartisan goal of ending the HIV epidemic domestically and globally.
Global Progress and Challenges
While progress is evident in the global fight against HIV transmission, there are persistent barriers in various communities hindering comprehensive prevention and treatment. Barriers include limited awareness, access, and engagement in HIV services for priority populations. Furthermore, HIV-related criminalization, stigma, and discrimination continue to undermine effective prevention tools.
Despite challenges, recent data highlights significant achievements:
- New HIV infections in the U.S. decreased by 12% in 2021 compared to 2017.
- PrEP prescription rates increased to 36% among those who could benefit, addressing racial and gender disparities.
- Nearly 90% of Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program clients achieved viral suppression in 2022.
- Over the past 20 years, PEPFAR saved 25 million lives and prevented millions of new HIV infections globally.
Domestic and Global Actions
Over the past year, the Biden-Harris Administration has taken various actions:
- Released the NHAS Interim Action Report to energize collective efforts in ending the HIV epidemic.
- Implemented the Ending the HIV Epidemic in the U.S. (EHE) initiative, focusing on innovative, community-driven solutions and increasing PrEP coverage.
- Requested unprecedented investments of $850 million in the FY2024 budget to reduce new HIV cases and improve access to prevention, care, and treatment.
Global Impact of PEPFAR
PEPFAR, celebrating its 20th anniversary, has supported over 55 countries, saving 25 million lives, preventing new infections, and strengthening global health. Recent efforts include launching the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Global Health Security and Diplomacy, leveraging PEPFAR’s programmatic base, and sustaining U.S. global leadership.
Addressing Stigma and Discrimination
The administration has actively addressed HIV-related stigma and discrimination by updating blood donor eligibility guidance, affirming the U=U (undetectable=untransmittable) message, and supporting LGBTQI+ communities. Efforts also include diversifying the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA) membership and engaging with the HIV community through regional town hall listening sessions.
Equity and Support for At-Risk Populations
The Biden-Harris Administration has emphasized diversity by diversifying PACHA membership, engaging with the HIV community, advancing equity for marginalized populations, and improving health outcomes for people aging with HIV.
Advancing New Research
The administration is committed to advancing HIV research through a multiyear plan, initiating a new clinical trial for an HIV vaccine, and reducing heart disease risk in adults with HIV through NIH-supported studies.
On this World AIDS Day, the progress made is celebrated, but the commitment to accelerate efforts, address challenges, and prioritize equity remains steadfast in the ongoing fight against HIV/AIDS.