National Report to Improve HIV/AIDS Efforts

States need to target specific populations affected by HIV outbreaks.

States need to target specific populations affected by HIV outbreaks.

A national report urges states to take further actions fighting the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

The Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR) and the Research National HIV/AIDS Initiative at the O'Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown Law have released a set of guidelines for the United States to improve HIV prevention. While many states have made great strides towards improving HIV care, the report finds that in order to make the greatest impact, all states must comply, especially those most affected.

It outlines 3 major goals with strategies up into 2020:

  • Reducing new outbreaks of the disease
  • Increasing access to care
  • Reducing HIV related health disparities.

To reduce outbreaks, states should target specific populations most affected by new HIV infections to accurately match their need for resources.

States should expand access to Medicaid, which a majority of HIV patients are insured under. Of the 50 states, 21 have not expanded Medicaid eligibility.

Finally, states must update laws and public information regarding HIV. Many states have laws based on outdated scientific information, creating stigma attached to HIV/AIDS. Thirty-three states still criminalize the transmission of HIV, and 38 states prosecute HIV patients who choose not to disclose about their affliction.

"The burden of HIV, and the response to it, varies across states due to a number of social, political and economic factors," said Jeffrey S. Crowley, Program Director of the National HIV/AIDS Initiative at the O'Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law and a lead author of the report. "But we have found that if states focus on a handful of priority action steps and implement them successfully, they can begin to close critical gaps and dramatically accelerate progress toward ending their HIV epidemics."

The report also urges states to require reports of all CD4 and viral load tests, to better estimate care resources for each state. This report coincides with the information found in the White House Office of National AIDS Policy of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy Update. More information can be found here: http://www.amfar.org/key-indicators-pr/