NCSD Applauds the National HIV/AIDS Strategy Syndemic Focus
A press statement from the National Coalition of STD Directors
December 6, 2021
Interwoven throughout the Strategy are approaches to address the individual, community, and structural factors and inequities that contribute to the spread of HIV, such as stigma and social determinants of health. The Strategy highlights opportunities to integrate HIV prevention, care, and treatment into prevention and treatment for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), viral hepatitis, mental health and substance use disorders, and other public health efforts by leveraging capacity and infrastructure across the domains and breaking down operational and funding silos. The White House. 2021. National HIV/AIDS Strategy for the United States 2022–2025. Washington, DC
For Immediate Release: December 6, 2021
Contact: Kathleen Jeanty, 617-610-5424, firstname.lastname@example.org
Washington, DC — On World AIDS Day, the White House released the National HIV/AIDS Strategy for the United States 2022–2025. NCSD commends the Biden administration for highlighting the syndemic of HIV, STIs, viral hepatitis, and substance abuse and mental health disorders in the context of social determinants of health.
“Clearly,” says David C. Harvey, NCSD executive director, “HIV infection and transmission will continue as long as STIs remain unchecked.” The Strategy urges all partners and community members working to end the epidemic to collaborate and better integrate services to improve the overall health and well-being of people being served, including sexual health, mental health, and freedom from discrimination and violence.
NCSD also applauds the Strategy’s recognition of STI clinics as an entry point to care for people who may not be engaged in primary or HIV care. Despite chronic underfunding and limited resources, STI clinics diagnose approximately 20 percent of all newly identified cases of HIV. NCSD established Clinic+, our sexual health and STI clinic initiative, three years ago to elevate the voices of these clinics, highlight their expertise, and create a common identity among these workers on the frontline of the syndemic.
Despite significant progress, HIV remains a threat, especially among Black, Latino, and White gay and bisexual men and Black heterosexual women. This year, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) awarded $117 million to state and local health departments to help rebuild and expand HIV prevention and treatment efforts as part of the federal Ending the HIV Epidemic in the U.S. initiative. This includes a total of $11.1 million to scale up quality HIV prevention services in STI clinics. NCSD commends CDC for this investment in STI prevention as an essential component in HIV diagnosis, prevention, care, and treatment.
“We cannot accomplish the goal of ending the HIV epidemic without increased federal investment in STI prevention,” says David C. Harvey.
About National Coalition of STD Directors (NCSD)
NCSD is a national public health membership organization representing health department STD directors, their support staff, and their community-based partners across 50 states, seven large cities, and eight U.S. territories. We provide leadership, build capacity, convene partners, and advocate. For more information, visit www.ncsddc.org.