28 Apr HIV Care Providers Highlight Legislative Interventions Necessary to End the HIV Epidemic
Washington, DC: This week, members of the American Academy of HIV Medicine, the nation’s leading network of HIV care providers, met with Congressional representatives to highlight four critical policy interventions needed to achieve the goal of ending the HIV epidemic by 2030.
Over fifty Academy members and credentialed providers participated in thirty scheduled meetings, representing eighteen states across the U.S. Participants included doctors, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and pharmacists, representing the core of the HIV clinical care team.
“It is important for our Congressional representatives to hear directly from frontline providers who recognize the day-to-day barriers people with and at risk for HIV face,” said Bruce J. Packett, executive director of the Academy. “Thanks to advances in HIV treatment and prevention, we have the clinical tools necessary to eradicate HIV. However, it’s the social determinants, health inequities and systemic barriers to access that is keeping us from crossing the finish line. Congress needs to understand that they have the power to end this epidemic.”
During the virtual meetings, providers highlighted four policy interventions necessary to end the HIV epidemic in the U.S. by 2030:
- Enable greater access to HIV prevention, including pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP)
- Expand the HIV healthcare workforce in number and diversity
- Support adequate federal funding for ending the HIV epidemic in the areas of prevention, treatment, care, and research
- Decriminalize HIV through federal interventions while pressuring states to eliminate archaic state outmoded, stigmatizing criminalization laws
The Ending the HIV Epidemic (EHE) initiative was conceived in 2019 and is aimed at reducing new HIV infections in the U.S. by 90% by 2030. The EHE is structured to make intensive interventions in 57 different jurisdictions – 50 localities that account for more than half of new HIV diagnoses and 7 states with a substantial rural burden.
“The goal of eliminating HIV by 2030 is realistic, but only with Congressional support,” said Leslie McGorman, director of public policy for the Academy. “We’ve seen great progress over the past two years starting with the White House’s Office of National AIDS Policy (ONAP) reopened under President Biden, as well as an updated National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS). This advocacy day was able to showcase the specific next steps Congress must take to enact policies critical to the EHE’s success of our provider members and ultimately to the Ending the Epidemic initiative.”
In addition to hearing about provider members’ specific challenges on the frontlines, Senators and Representatives were encouraged to support specific, existing legislation that addresses many issues facing people with and at risk for HIV, as well as growing the HIV health care workforce:
- The PrEP Assistance Program Act (H.R. 5605)
- The PrEP Access and Affordability Act (H.R. 6117/S. 3295)
- The PREVENT Pandemics Act (S. 3799)
- The BIO Preparedness Workforce Act (H.R. 5602/S. 3244)
- The HELP Act (H.R. 2295)
- The REPEAL HIV Discrimination Act (H.R. 6111)
If you are a member of the media and interested in interviewing someone from the Academy or an HIV care provider in your area, please contact Amber McCracken at email@example.com or at 703-599-0134.
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