Are US HIV goals achievable?

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 A new study has modeled HIV incidence, prevalence and mortality to assess whether goals set by the US National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS) are achievable, discovering that an ambitious trajectory towards ending the AIDS epidemic in the USA is possible.

The research, published recently in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, utilized surveillance data to demonstrate that a decrease in new infections to just 12,000 in 2025, a 70% decrease on current levels, is possible providing key goals are met.

Lead author Robert Bonacci (Brigham and Women’s Hospital, MA, USA) commented: “Achieving these targets will require a sustained and intensified national commitment to ending the epidemic. But if the U.S. does achieve a reduction to 12,000 new HIV infections by 2025, it could mark an important turning point in the US HIV epidemic: a decline in the total number of people living with HIV in the US, and the beginning of the end of the US AIDS epidemic.”

In light of the recently updated NHAS, the researchers utilized 2010–2013 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (MD, USA) to model indicators of HIV and estimate the trajectory of the epidemic if key goals are met. They accounted for targets set by NHAS for 2020, which include: that 90% of those living with HIV will be aware of their status, 90% of HIV patients will be receiving quality care and 90% will achieve viral suppression.

The authors emphasize the importance of meeting these goals in the USA, specifically in certain populations, and state that this study demonstrates an ambitious track is possible.

Author, David Holtgrave (Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, MD, USA) concluded: “Providing HIV services to our most disproportionately affected communities is fundamental to future success. In an era of limited funding and competing priorities, it is critically important that we intensify our national commitment to addressing the HIV epidemic over the next decade.”

Sources: Bonacci RA & Holtgrave DR, U.S. HIV Incidence and Transmission Goals, 2020 and 2025 Am. J. Prevent. Med. doi:10.1016/j.amepre.2017.03.012 (2017) (Epub ahead of print); https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-05/bawh-apt051217.php

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