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The HIV/AIDS epidemic appears to have been managed relatively well in the United States because it is no longer a regular presence in news headlines or the source of fear that it once was. However, there are still more than 1 million people living with HIV in the United States.
This epidemic is indicative of some of the more stark health inequities in our society, which affect and infect minority populations, people of lower economic status and homosexual men, in disproportionate numbers.
Furthermore, as fear about infection with the virus decreases, rates of HIV transmission are actually beginning to increase, where over the past decade they had shown huge declines.
The CDC has included HIV Prevention as one of its Winnable Battles of Public Health in hopes of re-emphasizing prevention and safe sexual practices. It will better coordinate care now that the disease is no longer an imminent death sentence but a chronic condition, and reduce HIV-related disparities.
In 2010, the White House released the National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS) -- the first of its kind -- as part of the ongoing efforts to win this battle against HIV. The Strategy was a collaborative initiative ordered by President Barack Obama that requires cooperation from federal, state, local and tribal levels as well as medical professionals and education specialists, pharmacies, scientists, social workers, policy-makers and the general public.
The vision it is meant to promote 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.” (NHAS, 2010)
The first tenet in the NHAS, and one that the CDC has worked especially hard to implement, focuses on preventing transmission and reducing the number of new HIV infections in the United States.