WASHINGTON — Jesse Milan Jr., president and CEO of AIDS United, released the following statement after President-elect Joe Biden announced his intention to reinstate the Office of National AIDS Policy in a statement for World AIDS Day.
“Biden’s commitment to reinstate the Office of National AIDS Policy is a very welcomed step in the right direction. I am absolutely delighted.”
The office was created under President Clinton in 1993, with the intention of coordinating the federal government’s response to HIV across multiple executive agencies. The office also directly advised presidents on ending the HIV epidemic. President Trump allowed the office to close. The HIV community has for years called upon Trump to reinstate the office.
“We need the Office of National AIDS Policy because we need leadership at the White House that cuts across all executive branch departments as well as Congress. HIV policy is not solely a concern for the Department of Health and Human Services, but also for the departments of Housing and Urban Affairs, Education, Justice, Labor and all the others. A reconstituted Office of National AIDS Policy will help ensure a coordinated federal approach for ending the epidemic.
“We have all of the tools required to end the HIV epidemic in the United States by 2025. Those of us living with HIV can have healthy, vibrant lives with access to health care, housing, food and treatment. And we have more options than ever before to stop the spread of the virus, including PrEP and U=U. We have the strategies, we now need the political leadership and funding to deploy them across the country.”
Preexposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, is a medicine that prevents HIV. Undetectable equals untransmittable, or U=U, means those with an undetectable viral load — the amount of the virus found in a blood sample — cannot pass the virus along to sexual partners.
“I hope that by reinstating the Office of National AIDS Policy, President-elect Biden is signaling his willingness to invest heavily in leadership and in the federal efforts needed to end the HIV epidemic.”