Federal Agencies Highlight Importance of Health Equity for World AIDS Day

Content From: HIV.govPublished: December 16, 20214 min read


World AIDS Day

During this year’s observance of World AIDS Day on December 1st, our colleagues across the federal government highlighted their ongoing work to address and promote advancing health equity as part of an increased response to move toward Ending the HIV Epidemic in the U.S. The theme for this year’s observance “Ending the HIV Epidemic: Equitable Access, Everyone’s Voice,” is reflected in all of our partners’ messages.

Below we feature a video from The White House event to commemorate World AIDS Day and launch the updated National HIV/AIDS Strategy (2022-2025), as well as blogs from 10 of our federal partners.

The White House

The video includes messages from HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra; Gabriel Maldonado, CEO of TruEvolution, an HIV care and services organization; and President Biden. You can watch the video here.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

CDC’s Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention Dear Colleague Letter—this letter details some of the recent data related to the persistence and severity of the HIV epidemic among Black and Hispanic/Latino gay and bisexual men, transgender women, and people who inject drugs and encourages us to work together to address the root causes of health inequity and make HIV prevention and treatment tools accessible to all who could benefit from them.

Health Resources and Services Administration

HRSA Commemorates World AIDS Day—this blog post from HRSA details data from the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program (RWHAP) and notes that in 2020, RWHAP served nearly 562,000 people and of these clients, 89.4 % were virally suppressed, which is a record-setting viral suppression rate.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

SAMHSA Observes World AIDS Day with Renewed Commitment to Ending the HIV Epidemic—in this blog post, Kristin Roha, MS, M.P.H, Public Health Advisor for HIV, details SAMHSA’s commitment to using new strategies and innovative approaches to end the HIV epidemic and how SAMHSA is working to put health equity at the center of its response to the HIV and AIDS epidemic, including by funding several grant programs that address health inequalities experienced by communities disproportionately affected by HIV and AIDS.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

33rd World AIDS Day: Remembering and Resetting, a Message from HUD—this blog post from HUD looks back at the first World AIDS Day in 1988 and the progress made since then to reduce new HIV infections and improve housing and economic stability as critical interventions in ending the HIV epidemic in the United States.

U.S. Department of Justice

Statement by Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke on World AIDS Day—this statement outlines the Department’s commitment to protecting and advancing the rights of people with HIV and AIDS in living free of stigma and discrimination through the enforcement of civil rights laws, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act.

National Institute on Drug Abuse, NIH

This World AIDS Day, Finding Inspiration at the Intersection of HIV and Substance Use—this blog post by Nora Volkow, Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, NIH, addresses the importance of ensuring that the national response to HIV incorporates interventions that address the complex interactions between substance misuse and HIV.

Office of AIDS Research (OAR), NIH

World AIDS Day 2021: The Role of Research in the National HIV/AIDS Strategy—this blog post by Maureen M. Goodenow, Ph.D., Associate Director for AIDS Research and Director of OAR, NIH, addresses the OAR-hosted NIH World AIDS Day 2021 Virtual Event: The Role of Research in the National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS) that occurred on December 1st and focused on the role of NIH in HIV and AIDS research, as OAR continues to be central in setting the domestic and global HIV research agenda for NIH.

U.S. Department of State

Commemorating World AIDS Daythis blog post by Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, recognizes the continued progress in the global response to HIV and AIDS, as well as the road ahead in achieving the end of the HIV epidemic as a public health threat by 2030.

U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)

Administrator Samantha Power on World AIDS Day 2021—this statement recognizes USAID’s continued commitment to people who face significant challenges in accessing and receiving health care, including adolescent girls and young women, and key populations most at risk of contracting HIV, such as sex workers, transgender people, men who have sex with men, incarcerated people, and people who inject drugs.

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Ending the HIV and AIDS Epidemic: Equitable Access, Everyone’s Voice—in this blog post, Elizabeth Maguire, Communications Lead for the HIV, Hepatitis, and Related Conditions Program, highlights the availability of tools for Veterans in the VA’s care such as PrEP, U=U or “Undetectable = Untransmittable,” syringe services programs, and routine testing.

This collection complements the continuing coverage of World AIDS Day 2021 on HIV.gov. For more information on World AIDS Day, visit HIV.gov.