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Biden Addresses Revised Plan for Ending HIV/AIDS

December 2, 2021 by Alexa Hornbeck
Biden Addresses Revised Plan for Ending HIV/AIDS

Yesterday was Worlds AIDS Day 2021, a day on which political leaders around the globe renewed their commitments to ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic nearly 40 years after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officially reported the first cases of AIDS. 

President Joe Biden, joined by HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra, made an appearance at the White House, which was adorned in a 2-story tall red ribbon to commemorate the day. 

“We are within striking distance of eliminating HIV transmission,” said Biden, during his address to the nation. 

According to Biden, an estimated 36 million people, including 700,000 in the United States, have died from AIDS-related illnesses, and 38 million people are currently living with HIV, including 1.2 million in the United States. 

That’s why the administration released a new National HIV/AIDS Strategy that provides the most up-to-date resources and direction for policies, research and programs to end the HIV epidemic by the year 2030. 

“It’s a roadmap for how we will put our foot on the gas and accelerate our efforts to end the HIV epidemic,” said Biden. 

The strategy will also take on racial and gender disparities in the health system, which Biden said have impacted HIV outcomes for too long. It also requests that Congress provide $670 million towards implementing HIV-prevention strategies. 

Biden said attention will also be paid to eliminating laws that perpetuate discrimination, exacerbate disparities and discourage HIV testing, as a large number of states continue to have HIV criminalization laws that do not reflect an accurate scientific understanding of HIV. 

“For example, HIV cannot be transmitted through saliva. There’s still laws on the books that criminalize spitting by people with HIV,” said Biden.  The U.S. will also host the Global Fund’s Seventh Replenishment Conference to accelerate the progress of reducing HIV morbidity and mortality. 

Alexa can be reached at alexa@thewellnews.com 

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