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President Obama ramps up fight against HIV/AIDs

Jeremy Pasker | 7/16/2014, 5:09 p.m.
President Obama's new strategy to combat HIV/AIDS intends to turn the United States into a place where the infection is ...
President Obama

President Obama's new strategy to combat HIV/AIDS intends to turn the United States into a place where the infection is rare, and regardless of a person's standing, if they do contract the disease they would still have complete access to all necessary care for sustaining a long, stigma free life.

The White House has established the HIV Care Contuum Initiative to outline the how to accelerate the outcome do those already living with HIV.

"The goals of the Strategy are to reduce new HIV infections," it read. "Increase access to care and improve health outcomes for people living with HIV; and reduce HIV-related disparities and health inequities," the president's press team released a statement.

In support of the strategy the Department of Health and Human Services announced they will make $11 million available for health centers in the most heavily affected areas. The plan is to be paid for by the Affordable Care Act.

The justice department released A best "Practices Guide to Reform HIV-specific Criminal Laws". Some have been unwilling to get tested, because of State laws around the US, and come out as infected, which has undermined the stated goal of the White House to promote screening and treatment.

"Ensuring that individuals know their HIV status is a critical step to reducing HIV infections. People who don't know they are infected miss an opportunity to access the life-sustaining care and treatment that can now lead to normal life-expectancy. Undiagnosed individuals can also unknowingly pass the virus on to others."

The plan from the President is to encourage screenings for people between 15 and 65, recommended by the independent United States Preventive Services Task Force. In April health plans were forced to offer HIV screenings without cost sharing.

"To end the epidemic, in addition to providing prevention strategies, access to health insurance coverage and other key supports are essential," another point examined in the program from the Presidents Press team.

The Administration will continue to focus on the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program and Affordable Care Act coordination.

A new proposal in the Presidents 2015 Budget will expand on the Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) program to reflect the modern state of the pandemic.

"The CDC launched the latest communication campaign under its Act Against AIDS initiative: 'Start Talking. Stop HIV.' According to the White House the aiming was eliminate stigma and discrimination while promoting open dialogue between gay and bisexual men about HIV prevention strategies."

The president sees coordinating federal agencies with the private sector as the best way to maximize efficiency.

"NIH expanded their investment in research to address gaps and opportunities in the HIV Care Continuum, including investigations of the effectiveness of methods to identify HIV-infected people earlier and to link them to care; community-level interventions to expand HIV testing and treatment; interventions to improve HIV outcomes among substance users; and evaluation of innovative network approaches for HIV testing and referral for persons in the correctional system."