The Obama Administration has made it a mission to create an “AIDS free generation,” and to help reach that goal a new plan of attack against the virus and the virus that leads to it has been released to the public.
“Its now been more than three decades since the first cases of HIV/AIDS were diagnosed,” said the president in a pre-recorded speech before a crowd at Atlanta’s Morehouse School of Medicine, and to an audience online around the world. “For many Americans the early days were marked by fear and stigma, how little we knew of the disease and by only fighting to be seen and heard, and to be treated with basic compassion. Times have changed.”
You can read the official HIV/AIDS Strategy Through 20/20 here.
Obama said his administration was the first to create such a plan against the once-lethal, but now manageable disease. The 2020 strategy calls for widespread testing, guaranteed access to regular doctor appointments, and makes sure every American can get access to life extending care.
“We’ve come a long way against AIDS and we can’t stop now,” the President said. “Prevention treatment and care have saved millions of lives, even in the world’s poorest countries… Lets keep working for an AIDS free generation.”
Prior to the start of today’s event, Obama signed an executive order outlining his commitment to the new strategy. You can view the EO below:
The 2020 Strategy, coming in at about 50 pages, uses four key areas which are considered a critical point of focus for the next five years:
• Widespread testing and linkage to care, enabling people living with HIV to access treatment early.
• Broad support for people living with HIV to remain engaged in comprehensive care, including support for treatment adherence.
• Universal viral suppression among people living with HIV.
• Full access to comprehensive PrEP services for those whom it is appropriate and desired, with support for medication adherence for those using PrEP.
Today’s live-streamed event aims to provide insite into the plan and give people around the nation the chance to ask questions about the future of HIV/AIDS treatment in America.
Douglas Brooks, the Director of the White House office of National AIDS policy, helped open the day by explaining how the new strategy was developed.