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President Joe Biden marks World AIDS Day with 5-year plan to end AIDS globally

U.S. President Joe Biden commemorated World AIDS Day on Thursday with a renewed commitment to end the global HIV/AIDS epidemic in the United States and the rest of the world by 2030. Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI
U.S. President Joe Biden commemorated World AIDS Day on Thursday with a renewed commitment to end the global HIV/AIDS epidemic in the United States and the rest of the world by 2030. Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 1 (UPI) -- U.S. President Joe Biden commemorated World AIDS Day on Thursday with a renewed commitment to end the global HIV/AIDS epidemic in the United States and the rest of the world by 2030.

The Biden administration introduced a five-year strategy for the President's Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief, 40 years after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officially reported the first cases of what later became known as AIDS.

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Biden's plan includes a budget request for $850 million "to aggressively reduce new HIV cases by increasing access to HIV prevention and care programs and ensuring equitable access to support services."

More than 36 million people, including 700,000 in the United States, have died from AIDS-related illness. Nearly 38 million people are living with HIV, including 1.2 million in the United States.

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The framework for Biden's goal of ending the HIV epidemic in the United States by 2030 includes expanding the focus on addressing the social determinants of health that influence an individual's HIV risk or outcomes. It also encourages states to reform their HIV criminalization laws and will attempt to better-engage the private sector in the nation's work to end the HIV epidemic.

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The Biden administration reestablished the White House Office of National AIDS Policy to coordinate efforts to reduce the number of HIV infections across the United States.

It also dedicated $250 million under the American Rescue Plan to support the five-year strategy to guide the United States' contribution to reaching the U.N. goal of ending the global AIDS pandemic by 2030.

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"HIV/AIDS is still a pandemic and continues to be a serious threat to global health security and economic development," a the U.S. State Department said in a statement.

"Our progress can be easily derailed if we lose our focus and conviction, or fail to address the inequities, some of which are fueled by stigma, discrimination and punitive laws."

Biden's 2023 fiscal year budget also proposed creating a 10-year, $9.8 billion national program to guarantee pre-exposure prophylaxis HIV medication that can reduce the risk of getting HIV.

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In February, researchers in the Netherlands said they identified a "highly virulent" variant of HIV that has been circulating there since the 1990s.

The Department of Health and Human Services announced $2.21 billion in funding in October for the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program for primary care, medication and essential support services.

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Progress has been made, since the first cases of AIDS were reported over 40 years ago, but no vaccine has yet been developed.

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