July 12, 2011
The National HIV/AIDS Strategy, One Year Later The following is a statement from National Minority AIDS Council Deputy Executive Director Daniel C. Montoya:
Washington, DC — “One year after President Obama released the National HIV/AIDS Strategy, the community has seen significant progress in ensuring a coordinated and efficient response to the epidemic. This Administration has shown a continued commitment to fulfilling the promise of the Strategy, demonstrated both by its 2012 budget request as well as its call for implementation plans from all federal agencies providing AIDS related services.
“We have already seen improved transparency, inter-agency coordination, collaboration and accountability, as well as efforts to target resources to communities and regions most heavily impacted by HIV/AIDS. While not perfect, initiatives like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Enhanced Comprehensive HIV Prevention Planning and Implementation (ECHPP) and Health and Human Services’ 12 Cities Project are promising programs aimed at identifying ways to effectively allocate funds and identify gaps in infrastructure and services.
“But there remains much more work to be done. The Strategy lays out ambitious goals for reducing infections, increasing access to care and minimizing health disparities, and while this year was spent laying the necessary ground work for achieving those goals, we must now focus our efforts on its wider implementation.
“In order to be successful, the Strategy must continue to have the full support of not only the Obama Administration and the public health community, but also Congress. It is our best hope for making significant inroads in the fight against HIV/AIDS and is an investment in our nation’s health and economic future. In today’s climate of deficit politics, policy makers must understand that investing in prevention and treatment will save billions of dollars down the road. Preventing 25 percent of new HIV infections over five years — as called for in the strategy — would save over $20 billion dollars in lifetime medical costs.
“As we enter the Strategy’s second year, NMAC is committed to working towards achieving its goals. We urge Congress and the Obama administration to do the same. Thirty years into the epidemic, we can not afford to return to business as usual on HIV/AIDS.”
Contact: Kyle Murphy, (202) 483-6622 ext.333