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World AIDS Day Highlights Importance of Prevention, Treatment

December 01, 2020

On World AIDS Day, HAP recognizes Pennsylvania’s hospitals and health systems for their tireless efforts to combat the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and care for patients across the commonwealth.

Since 1988, World AIDS Day has brought attention to the fight against HIV around the world, while honoring those who have died of the disease. This year’s theme, “Ending the HIV/AIDS Epidemic: Resilience and Impact,” highlights the resiliency of hospitals to care for patients amid a global pandemic.

As the world grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic, the decades-long threat of HIV endures. Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate: 

  • Nearly 1.2 million Americans are living with HIV
  • About 14 percent of Americans living with HIV are not aware of their positive status and need testing
  • An estimated 38,000 Americans are newly diagnosed with HIV each year

The National HIV/AIDS Strategy sets a goal to make the U.S. “a place where new HIV infections are rare” and every patient “will have unfettered access to high quality, life-extending care, free from stigma and discrimination.” The initiative for the next decade includes bold targets to reduce new HIV infections by 75 percent by 2025, and by 90 percent by 2030.

The national approach to combat HIV features four key strategies, including:

  • Diagnose all individuals with HIV as early as possible after infection
  • Treat people with HIV rapidly and effectively to reach sustained viral suppression
  • Prevent new HIV transmissions by using proven interventions, including pre-exposure prophylaxis (also known as “PrEP”) and syringe services programs
  • Respond quickly to potential HIV outbreaks to get needed prevention and treatment services to people who need them

HAP recognizes World AIDS Day and applauds Pennsylvania’s hospitals for their outstanding care for HIV patients across the commonwealth.

For more information about HAP’s population health initiatives, contact Rob Shipp, PhD, BSN, RN, NEA-BC, HAP’s vice president, population health and clinical affairs.