Statement from HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on World AIDS Day - November 30, 2010
On December 1, World AIDS Day, we will pause to reflect on the HIV epidemic in our country and around the world. In the U.S., an estimated 1.1 million Americans are living with HIV - and one out of five does not know it. Worldwide, there are an estimated 33 million individuals with HIV.
The U.S. has made enormous strides in its response to the HIV epidemic this year. In March, President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act, improving access to care and increasing opportunities for health and well-being for people with HIV. And in July, the White House Office of National AIDS Policy released its landmark “National HIV/AIDS Strategy,” a roadmap for addressing the epidemic on multiple levels. It was developed with broad community input and set new national goals for reducing the number of people who become infected with HIV, for improving prevention and access to care and increasing opportunities for health and well-being for people living with HIV, and for reducing HIV-related health disparities. In September, HHS announced that CDC allocated $30 million of the Affordable Care Act’s Prevention and Public Health Fund to expand HIV prevention efforts under that strategy.
I am proud to work with agencies, communities, and individuals around the country who are implementing this bold strategic vision, which challenges the United States to “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.”
To find out more about how others are facing AIDS in their communities for World AIDS Day, please visit www.AIDS.gov. World AIDS Day is also an important opportunity to promote HIV testing. I encourage all Americans to take an HIV test. To find your local HIV testing center, send a text message with your ZIP code to “KNOWIT” (566948) or visit www.HIVtest.org.
Learn more about the estimated 1.1 million Americans living with HIV at: www.aids.gov/hiv-aids-basics/hiv-aids-101/overview/statistics/
Learn more about how the Affordable Care Act is improving access to care and increasing opportunities for health and well-being for people with HIV at www.healthcare.gov/news/factsheets/affordable_care_act_people_hiv_aids.html