A new domestic AIDS policy rolled out by the White House on Tuesday asks states and federal agencies to find ways to cut new infections by 25 percent, get more patients treated quickly and educate Americans about the deadly and incurable virus.
As an immediate down payment, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced $30 million to develop better prevention methods using a combination of approaches.
“We need to ensure every HIV-positive American gets the care they need,” President Barack Obama told a White House gathering of AIDS experts and activists.
“We need to make sure all our efforts are coordinated within the federal government and across state and local governments.”
The plan directs government agencies to work together more closely to focus spending where it is most needed and identify where new spending would do the most good — for instance, among hard-hit communities of blacks, Hispanics, drug users and gay and bisexual men.
It urges the Food and Drug Administration to make review of new HIV tests a priority and says HIV patients need housing and other support in addition to medical care.
Many activists who have been in on the planning of the new strategy for the past 15 months praised it.
“I think this strategy points us in several very important directions in terms of informing and improving the domestic response to HIV,” Chris Collins, public policy director at The Foundation for AIDS Research or AMFAR, said in a telephone interview.
“It doesn’t speak to the need for more resources and that is one of the two critical issues.”
Also, the organization Housing Works calls the Obama AIDS strategy as a step backwards. One of the issues of concern for Housing works is the plans lack of new funding for housing for poor Americans living with HIV Aids.
Phil Wilson of the Black Aids Institute attended the White House reception for the National Aids policy roll out. He had this to say.