HHS Secretary Azar Statement on World AIDS Day

Content From: Alex Azar, Secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human ServicesPublished: November 29, 20192 min read


Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar

Cross-posted from U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

On the occasion of World AIDS Day, December 1, HHS Secretary Alex Azar released the following statement:

"World AIDS Day is an opportunity for all of us to rededicate our efforts in combating HIV across the globe. Here in the United States, the Trump administration is hard at work on the plan President Trump announced at this year’s State of the Union to end the HIV epidemic in America within ten years. At the same time, around the world, we continue our commitment to the lifesaving success of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.

“President Trump’s Ending the HIV Epidemic: A Plan for America initiative is a targeted approach, working first in the 48 counties across the country, plus San Juan and Washington, D.C., where more than half of new HIV transmissions occur, and in seven states with a disproportionate rural HIV burden. This is not a shot in the dark: We know what we need to do to end the HIV epidemic, and we’re acting swiftly to save lives.

“The President’s plan is already well underway. By the end of this year, all 57 target jurisdictions will have received HHS grants to design their implementation strategies, allowing them to launch their own initiatives as soon as Congress provides the needed funding. Four jurisdictions have already received funding to begin hiring and implementation: Atlanta, East Baton Rouge, Baltimore, and the Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma. In addition, we will soon begin distributing free prevention medication to uninsured individuals at risk for HIV, thanks to billions of dollars’ worth of donated medication secured by President Trump.

“The theme for this year’s World AIDS Day is Ending the HIV/AIDS Epidemic: Community by Community. We’ve taken this community-based approach to heart. The President’s effort will be successful because we’ve met with representatives from and listened to the communities we need to help most—including gay men and black Americans, Hispanic Americans, and American Indians and Alaska Natives. We are working together, community by community, to end the epidemic.

“World AIDS Day this year is a unique opportunity to come together and pledge our commitment to ending the HIV epidemic in America. Because we have the right leadership, the right data, and the right tools, the goal of ending the HIV epidemic in the United States is within reach and getting closer every day.”

For an update on Ending the HIV Epidemic: A Plan for America