A newly announced U.S. commitment to end the spread of HIV in the U.S. by the year 2030 is achievable, thanks to prevention and treatment tools widely available today, according to a JAMA viewpoint article co-authored by Ashish Jha of Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
Jha, K.T. Li Professor of Global Health and director of the Harvard Global Health Institute (HGHI), and co-author Ingrid Katz, HGHI associate faculty director, wrote in a March 8, 2019 article that the government should focus on three main areas to halt HIV transmission: preventing HIV in high-risk communities; ensuring that people receiving treatment have undetectable viral loads; and addressing the large socioeconomic, racial, and geographic health disparities associated with the disease.
The authors offered a variety of suggestions for halting transmission, such as developing a long-acting drug regimen that would eliminate the need to take pills daily; removing obstacles to long-term HIV care such as stigma, discrimination, and co-payments for HIV medications; and supporting access to social safety programs and insurance among populations with high rates of HIV.
“Even though the human and financial burdens of HIV remain substantial, it is now possible to end transmission of the virus and control the epidemic in the United States within the next 10 years,” the authors wrote.
Read the JAMA viewpoint article: HIV in the United States: Getting to Zero Transmissions by 2030
Ending HIV transmission by 2030 (Harvard Gazette)