The U.S. is on track to end the HIV epidemic in this country in the next decade, according to new research from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, but there’s a big caveat—prevention, detection, and treatment has to be a priority, and it has to be funded.
In the report, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, the researchers show that new HIV infections could be reduced to 12,000 by 2025, which could be a turning point for the disease as the total number of people living with HIV in the United States would start to decline. That could signal the end of the epidemic that ravaged communities across the U.S. and the world, starting in the early 1980s.
“While these targets are ambitious, they could be achieved with an intensified and sustained national commitment over the next decade,” said David Holtgrave, study co-author and chair of the department of health, behavior, and society at Hopkins. “It’s critical to note that the key to ending the HIV epidemic domestically lies in our collective willingness as a country to invest the necessary resources in HIV diagnostic, prevention, and treatment programs.” In short, if we want to end HIV in the U.S., which this research shows is possible, the government will need to make it a priority. The red ribbon is in your court, Congress.
[Photo: Flickr user ChiLam Ly]