The CDC announced a substantial investment of $185 million in HIV prevention among gay and bisexual men and men who have sex with men. This is a huge endorsement in the efficacy of PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) in combating the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
Up to $125 million of the funding will be provided over three years to state and local health departments to scale up two new, powerful HIV prevention strategies:Finally some good news about the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the United States.
- Increasing PrEP uptake: Numerous studies have shown that people who take PrEP daily can reduce their risk of contracting HIV by more than 90 percent.
- Health departments will be funded to provide PrEP information and referrals and to conduct outreach and training to increase the number of health care providers who are knowledgeable about PrEP and offer it to their patients.
- The primary objective is to increase the knowledge about and uptake of PrEP among MSM and transgender people at greatest risk of infection.
- Twenty-four health departments in areas where MSM are severely impacted are eligible to apply for these funds.
- Using routinely collected data to increase engagement in HIV care: A recent CDC study showed that more than 90 percent of new HIV infections in the U.S. could be averted by diagnosing people living with HIV and ensuring they receive prompt, ongoing care and treatment. Only about half of MSM diagnosed with HIV in the U.S. are engaged in regular care.
- Health departments will be funded to expand the use of HIV surveillance data to help connect and reengage people diagnosed with HIV but not in care with needed services, prioritizing MSM and transgender people.
“Science tells us that increasing PrEP access and engaging more HIV-positive people in care and treatment could prevent tens of thousands of new HIV infections, but these strategies remain underused,” said Eugene McCray, M.D., director of CDC’s Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention. “This new funding will drive wider adoption where it’s urgently needed and provide lessons on how to improve uptake nationwide.”
- Twelve health departments in areas where MSM are severely impacted and that have sufficient clinical data are eligible to apply for these funds.