President Obama Unveils New National Strategy to Combat HIV/AIDS

August 3, 2015
Last week, President Obama signed an Executive Order releasing the National HIV/AIDS Strategy: Updated to 2020. This new strategy builds upon the National/HIV AIDS Strategy that President Obama launched in 2010—the nation’s first comprehensive strategy addressing the issue. This new strategy’s vision is that “the United States will become a place where new HIV infections are rare, and when they do occur, every person, regardless of age, gender, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, or socio-economic circumstance, will have unfettered access to high quality, life-extending care, free from stigma and discrimination.” This new strategy lays out four goals in order to achieve this vision:
  1. Reducing new HIV infections
  2. Increasing access to care and improving health outcomes for people living with HIV
  3. Reducing HIV-related disparities and health inequities
  4. Achieving a more coordinated national response
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 1.2 million people in the United States are living with HIV and 12.8% are unaware of their positive HIV status. The CCD notes that several historically marginalized groups are disproportionately impacted by HIV/AIDS, including men who have sex with men, blacks, and Hispanics/Latinos. The National HIV/AIDS Strategy: Updated to 2020 specifically identifies these groups, as well as people who inject drugs, youth aged 13 to 24, people in the Southern United States and transgender women as groups that should be prioritized in the efforts to reduce new HIV infections. As Jews, we have a responsibility to address the spread of HIV/AIDS both domestically and internationally. The values of bikur cholim, pikuach nefesh and gemulit chasidim—caring for the sick, saving lives and deeds of loving kindness—have long informed our Movement’s support for combatting HIV/AIDS both in the United States and throughout the World. To learn more about the President’s new National HIV/AIDs Strategy: Updated to 2020, you can read the report here. To learn more about the Reform Movement’s work on HIV/AIDS, visit the RAC’s webpage on HIV/AIDS.

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