WASHINGTON, July 15 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. government reviewed on Tuesday the progress of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy in the past four years, and announced new funding to fight the scourge.
In a report released by the White House, the Department of Health and Human Services will invest 11 million dollars in funding to enhance its Community Health Centers' HIV efforts in communities highly impacted by HIV, especially among racial and ethnic minorities.
"This initiative, funded through the Affordable Care Act and the Secretary's Minority AIDS Initiative Fund, aims to build sustainable partnerships between public health and health centers to help achieve the goals of the Strategy," it said.
Meanwhile, U.S. Justice Department released a Best Practices Guide to Reform HIV-specific Criminal Laws to align with Scientifically Supported Factors.
"This guide is intended to share best practices for aligning criminal law with the public health goal of reducing HIV-related stigma," the report said.
In addition, the government will expand investment in research to address gaps and opportunities in the HIV Care Continuum, including investigations of the effectiveness of methods to identify HIV-infected people earlier and to link them to care.
Smart investments and collaborations will provide opportunities to scale up effective efforts so that every community affected by HIV can contribute to achieving the goals of the Strategy, said the report.
On July 15, 2010, U.S. President Barack Obama released the first comprehensive National HIV/AIDS Strategy, which envisions that "the United States will become a place where new HIV infections are rare and when they do occur, every person will have unfettered access to high quality, life-extending care, free from stigma and discrimination."
To further the implementation of the Strategy, Obama signed last year an executive order establishing the HIV Care Continuum Initiative, which outlines the pathway to accelerate and optimize health outcomes for those living with HIV.
"Together, we are committed to accelerating our efforts to reach the Strategy's goals and, eventually, attain an AIDS-free generation."
Statistics show that the overall number of people in the country with HIV who know their HIV status increased to 84.2 percent in 2010 and the figure will reach 90 percent by 2015, approaching the Strategy goal.
In addition, as one of the most successful scientific advances in HIV prevention, people living with HIV who have a suppressed viral load due to effective HIV treatment have reduced their HIV transmission risk by up to 96 percent.