White House AIDS plan echoes In Pittsburgh

rom WESAfm

Allegheny County health officials say they are already in line with new White House standards to fight HIV and AIDS. The plan unveiled Thursday updates one issued by the Obama administration five years ago. Developments since then include new diagnostic tests, a daily pill for infection prevention and the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, which allows for more American’s to receive treatment and testing.

Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force Executive Director Charles Christian said programs in the region have already been pushing for testing among all populations, not just those considered to be at risk, and for efforts to find ways to get more individuals into treatment programs.

The updated document adds some new goals for 2020, like reducing the death rate among HIV-diagnosed people by at least one-third, and increasing the percentage who control their infection though medication.

Treatment can help suppress the amount of detectable virus in an HIV-positive person’s system, which can also reduce the possibility that he or she will spread the disease.

Christian told Essential Pittsburgh host Paul Guggenheimer Friday that the region and the nation need to get beyond the belief that AIDS is just a risk faced by homosexuals and drug users.

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