May 31, 2019 Mei Linh Lao
Trump’s Ambitious Campaign to End HIV in Ten Years
As of 2014, 1.1 million people living in the United States are living with HIV- related infections and an alarming 18% are unaware (7). Even worse, close to 16,000 people are dying annually.
In response to this, Donald Trump had boldly announced in his State of the Union address his Campaign to End HIV by 2030. According to HHS Secretary Azar and CDC Director Robert Redfield, the strategy they had designed in order to accomplish such a feat in ten years would prevent and target the expansion of the disease, predicted to have about 40,000 new cases annually (3).
Health advocates are implementing a well targeted and preventative campaign such that a consensus has been reached in the White House reaffirming that eliminating HIV in the next 10 years is very much possible:
1. Targeting Certain Geographic Hotspots (3)
Statistics show that "more than 50 percent of new HIV diagnoses occurred in 48 counties, including Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico.” Secretary Azar firmly believes that by first remedying these concentrated areas, we can wipe out a large majority of new infections such that “new infections [can be eliminated] by 75 percent in the next five years and 90 percent in the next 10 years.”
2. Preventative Medications
Health advocates are investing in a preventative HIV pill called the pre-exposure prophylaxis or PrEP (3). Much like vaccines, it exposes the body to small amounts of the infection in order to strengthen the body’s natural immune system. It is meant to be given to commercial sex workers, intravenous drug users, and others who are also carrying a high risk of HIV.
3. Clean Drug Equipment
The spread of HIV infections is incredibly high among those who share drug equipment especially because some drugs are taken intravenously. Clean drug equipment would prevent new spread of HIV infections in the same way that condoms prevent forms of sexual infections.
Donald Trump’s ambitious ten-year plan only has a few concerns: budget and his need to address the LGBTQ+ community. If Trump is able to end his assault on healthcare and on the LGBTQ+ community, then his campaign is highly conceivable.