National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health praises President Obama's National HIV/AIDS Plan

The National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health applauds the Obama Administration for its recent release of the United States’ first ever nation-wide comprehensive HIV/AIDS reduction strategy as part of the recent health care reform law.  With 56,000 new infections in the nation every year and 1.1 million Americans living with HIV/AIDS, the strategy will focus on prevention through increased education, testing, and removing the stigma associated with the disease.  The plan will also target what the Administration identifies as “high-risk” communities where infection occurs at disproportionately high rates – namely, among African-Americans and among men who have sex with men.  As stated by the White House, the strategy will have three goals:

1) Reducing the number of new infections;
2) Increasing access to care and optimizing health outcomes for people living with HIV;
3) Reducing HIV-related health disparities.

Some advocates, while praising the new plan, have expressed disappointment that the $30 million of funding comes from existing programs and is not new money.  Still, we feel that the plan represents a new day in the campaign against HIV/AIDS, which infects thousands of Latinas every year and is the fourth leading cause of death among Latinas.  A comprehensive plan like this that prioritizes prevention, access to treatment, and reducing health care disparities, will help our population overcome this epidemic once and for all.