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Obama Has National HIV/AIDS Strategy

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Recently, President Obama presented his plans to implement the National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS), which has the intention of making the U.S. "a place where new HIV infections are rare and when they do occur, every person...will have unfettered access to high quality, life-extending care, free from stigma and discrimination."

This plan is headed by the Office of National Aids Policy (ONAP.) The plan has three objectives: reduce HIV incidence, increase access to care and optimize the health outcomes, and reduce any HIV-related disparities.

Lowering the yearly number of new infections by 25 percent and reducing the yearly transmission rate by 30 percent by 2015 are part of the plan's goals. More access to care is another objective of the plan, as well as the increase in numbers of people who have knowledge of their positive status. The NHAS wants to have a focus on gay, female and minority populations, "who are disproportionately affected by the disease," according to the Feminist Daily News, the source for this article. African Americans men comprise 13 percent of the population, but make up almost half of those who are living with HIV.

Michael Weinstein, from the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, believes that the NHAS should plan to spend more money on the AIDS Drug Assistance programs, rather than the sum it said it would spend. He said, "This strategy is a day late and a dollar short. Fifteen months in the making, and the White House learned what in the field have known for years."

Obama, however, seems determined to make a difference. He said, "Fighting HIV/AIDS in America and around the world will require more than just fighting the virus. It will require a broader effort to make life more just and equitable for the people who inhabit this Earth."

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