HRSA Releases Dear Colleague Letter on the Importance of Viral Suppression Messaging

Content From: Laura Cheever, MD, ScM, Associate Administrator for the HIV/AIDS Bureau, Health Resources and Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human ServicesPublished: October 24, 20182 min read



The Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) HIV/AIDS Bureau (HAB) Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program (RWHAP) provides a comprehensive system of HIV care, treatment, and support services to more than half a million people living with HIV in the United States. Through grants to funding recipients that include cities, counties, states, and local community-based organizations, RWHAP serves more than 50 percent of people living with diagnosed HIV in the United States. In 2016, 84.9 percent of RWHAP clients receiving HIV medical care were virally suppressed. This means HRSA’s Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program recipients, subrecipients, planning bodies, providers, and stakeholders play a critical role in reaching the audiences that need to be linked to care, retained in care, and supported in adhering to their HIV medication.

“HRSA continues to work with HIV prevention, care and treatment partners across the U.S. to increase awareness about the importance of HIV treatment and to integrate viral suppression messaging into ongoing discussions with PLWH to reduce HIV transmission.” —HRSA/HAB letter to Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Stakeholders


HRSA-funded RWHAP providers discuss important information with their patients, including sharing messaging regarding viral suppression. To support this effort, on Friday, October 19, HRSA released a Dear Colleague Letter [PDF, 393KB] outlining recommendations for RWHAP recipients and subrecipients as they incorporate messages on the impact of viral suppression.

Several large studies [PDF, 151KB] have demonstrated that people living with HIV who have consistent viral suppression do not sexually transmit HIV. HRSA strongly encourages RWHAP recipients, subrecipients, planning bodies, and providers to leverage their expertise and program infrastructure to incorporate viral suppression messaging in service delivery settings where people living with HIV are engaged.