The Obama administration unveiled the
nation's first-ever comprehensive AIDS strategy on Tuesday.
“Our country is at a crossroads,”
Obama said in a letter announcing the policy. “Right now, we are
experiencing a domestic epidemic that demands a renewed commitment,
increased public attention, and leadership.”
The administration aims to curb the
number of new HIV infections by 25 percent over the next five years
and increase by 20 percent the number of HIV-positive people
receiving treatment within 3 months of their diagnosis, up from the
current 65 percent.
Officials at the Office of National
AIDS Policy (ONAP), the federal agency tasked with implementing the
strategy, say they can accomplish these goals without increasing
federal spending by focusing on groups most at-risk for infection,
which include gay and bisexual men and African-Americans.
Jeffrey Crowley, director of ONAP, said
the strategy “provides a roadmap for moving the nation forward in
addressing the domestic HIV epidemic.”
“The job of implementing this
strategy does not fall on the federal government alone,” he added.
“Success will require the commitment of all parts of society,
including state and local governments, businesses, faith communities,
philanthropy, the scientific and medical communities, educational
institutions, people living with HIV, and others.”
The strategy will focus on doing a
better job at matching resources with needs. For example, the report
suggests allocating more money to states with the highest “burden
The three-pronged strategy also calls
for the reduction of stigma associated with the disease.
The report says the strategy will help
the United States become “a place where new HIV infections are rare
and when they do occur, every person … will have unfettered access
to high quality, life-extending care free from stigma and
AIDS activists have criticized previous
administrations for not outlining a comprehensive strategy for
combating the epidemic domestically. Work on the national AIDS
strategy began at the start of the administration.