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New Efforts to End AIDS Epidemic in U.S.

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In conjunction with World AIDS Day, December 1, 2011, President Barack Obama announced accelerated efforts to increase the availability of treatment to people living with HIV/AIDS in the United States. The president directed the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to invest approximately $50 million in new funding to support AIDS Drug Assistance Programs in states and increase access to HIV/AIDS care services.

“President Obama has laid out a compelling vision that has the power to change the course of the epidemic,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “Now it’s up to all of us to make our National HIV/AIDS Strategy real. Treatment not only improves and extends the lives of people living with HIV, but it also drastically reduces their risk of spreading the virus."

The president emphasized that critical HHS resources will help ensure that HIV-positive Americans get the best care and treatment possible.

HHS will commit approximately $35 million in new funding and enhanced technical assistance through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to support state AIDS Drug Assistance Programs so that approximately 3,000 people living with HIV/AIDS will have access to life-saving medications.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 34 percent of HIV/AIDS patients do not receive consistent care and only 28 percent of HIV/AIDS patients have their HIV under control.

The announcement builds upon the Obama Administration’s new testing initiatives to help the estimated 240,000 Americans living with HIV who are not aware that they are infected.

CDC has launched a new campaign to encourage testing among one of the hardest hit populations in the United States, black men who have sex with men. Testing Makes Us Stronger is part of Act Against AIDS, CDC’s national campaign to bring attention to the importance of HIV prevention and testing. In 2012, CDC will also be working with partners to expand its successful campaign for African American women.

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