National Advocacy Campaign to End the AIDS Epidemic in the US
The Campaign to End AIDS advocate network was an initial partner and continues to be active in the planning and implementation process for this new collaboration initiated by Housing Works, the HIV Prevention Justice Alliance, amfAR, the Southern AIDS Coalition, and Treatment Action Group to mobilize the AIDS community and allies on a coordinated advocacy campaign to end AIDS in the United States by 2025.
Together, we will engage potential stakeholders and organize a campaign to “end AIDS” by 2025. By “ending AIDS,” we mean, in all key populations and jurisdictions:
- Increasing viral suppression to 80% (percentage suggested by recent modeling)
- Decreasing incidence to < 0.5% in (the global public health standard for infectious diseases)
- Ending the disparities in incidence and prevalence
- Ending stigma.
Why a national campaign? Why now?
The National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS) and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) offer a solid framework upon which to build advocacy targets toward realizing the end of AIDS. Implementation science developed the HIV care continuum, which has already helped advocates advance their calls for evidence-based policies. Cities such as Washington, DC and San Francisco are also showing significant declines in HIV incidence, offering baseline data around best practices to consider for replication.
We are at a defining moment. Either we build on the social and economic investment we have made to date — fully develop evidence-based interventions that increase viral suppression and virtually eliminate new cases, and harness our resources to eliminate the epidemic — or we maintain the status quo, seeing slow incremental variations to the long-term management of HIV/AIDS, and continue to see 1.5 million die from AIDS each year.
However, the economic and political environment makes it extremely difficult to advocate for funding to implement proven strategies that reduce incidence or promote progressive health-related legislation, nationally or locally. Continued ideological opposition to Medicaid expansion in many states where incidence and prevalence remain high –- particularly in the South -– will exacerbate health disparities among key populations. Given the attacks on the larger social safety net, as well as the protracted battle over the ACA, sequestration and other budget constraints, we face very real challenges. But with challenges, come opportunities.
The campaign’s partners, including C2EA, facilitate broad collaborative efforts among state-based partners and coalitions (HIV-specific and beyond) to promote and advocate for meaningful implementation of ACA and other systemic change necessary to end the AIDS epidemic –- addressing viral suppression, incidence, disparities/inequities, and stigma.
1 Holtgrave, D. R. (2013, p.4, para. 2). Development of Year 2020 Goals for the National HIV/AIDS Strategy for the United States. AIDS and Behavior, Retrieved from http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10461-013-0579-9
2 Id. at para. 3-5.
For more information on key policy issues both at the federal level and nationwide, click on the links below. Also check out C2EA’s AIDSVote 2014 platform for timely issues relevant to the midterm election season!
Health Care Reform – Patient Protection Affordable Care Act
Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA)
Housing as Prevention
National HIV/AIDS Strategy
Ryan White Program