Statement from NMAC on White House Plan to End the HIV Epidemic

Following is a statement from NMAC Executive Director Paul Kawata on the new national HIV/AIDS strategy to end the epidemic:

“NMAC is very pleased by the White House’s new national HIV/AIDS strategy, particularly in its use of hard data to drive its tactics, recognition of the context of HIV prevention and care, and the willingness to treat HIV as an issue of social justice and equity.”

“Hard data is critical to an effective strategy to end HIV. Without knowing who is at risk, where they live, and what prevention and treatment approaches work, it’s impossible for any organization to reach those who most need to be reached. In an epidemic that has been marked by so many responses based on political ideology, this reliance on science is critical.”

“We are incredibly pleased that the administration recognizes that HIV care and prevention doesn’t occur in a vacuum. For those living with or at great risk of HIV, there are numerous other issues in their life that make HIV a low priority, housing being one of the biggest ones. The inclusion of numerous cabinet agencies in the new strategy, including Housing and Urban Development and Veterans Affairs, shows that this administration understands that ending the HIV epidemic is not just about medications and condoms; it’s about addressing the critical issues in a person’s life.”

“Finally, we are also very pleased to see that the administration will treat HIV as an issue of social justice and equity. That’s the reason NMAC was founded more than 30 years ago and continues our mission to lead with race today. We know that HIV thrives due to racism, stigma, and inequities in health care and our economic system. We believe that fighting HIV in the context of social justice and equity means that this strategy will be far more effective than previous efforts.”