President Barack Obama is unveiling an updated national strategy Thursday to combat the HIV and AIDS epidemic that could have a big impact in Florida, which leads the nation in new HIV infections.
The White House unveiled the first national HIV plan in 2010, with ambitious, measurable goals: reduce new HIV diagnoses, increase the number of youth with an undetectable HIV viral load, and reduce the death rate from AIDS.
There’s been positive progress on all those, and there’s been a drop in the number of women, heterosexuals and IV-drug users contracting the disease.
But the White House has missed targets on getting people to stay in HIV treatment and reducing homelessness for those with HIV. And the disproportionate impact on certain communities is getting worse, not better, advocates say.
“The epidemic among gay and bisexual men remains severe, with increases in new diagnosis, especially among young black gay men, where we see great disproportionate impact,” said Douglas Brooks, the director of the White House Office of National AIDS policy:
The updated plan has some new goals and will guide how seven federal agencies attack HIV and AIDS through 2020.
Collectively, the federal government spends $23 billion annually on HIV and AIDs.