Obama Administration Announces National AIDS Strategy

Today, the Obama administration announced a national strategy to combat the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the United States.

The goal of the strategy is to reduce the number of new infections in the United States by 25 percent over the next five years. It also seeks to ensure that anyone who does become infected, “regardless of age, gender, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, or socio-economic circumstance will have unfettered access to high-quality, life-extending care, free from stigma and discrimination.”

To meet this goal, the federal government will target HIV prevention resources at populations with the highest risk of infection, including LGBT Americans and African Americans, and to geographic areas that are consistent with high rates of infection.

However, the new plan does not include additional federal funding, which has led to some concern from HIV/AIDS advocates who say the plan is not ambitious enough.  Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese said that the strategy won’t work “without strong leadership and robust resources.”

“[T]he plan doesn’t yet go far enough in ending new infections and helping those already coping with the disease to manage it. The government must make available the necessary resources and life-saving medicines for those in need. Adequate attention to and funding for implementation as well as aggressive timetables are essential to the success of this plan. This ongoing national tragedy requires an immediate, potent and cohesive federal response that is appropriately funded,” said Rea Carey, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.