VA is on a mission to end the HIV epidemic within the next 10 years. We’ve made dramatic advancements in treating and preventing the virus. Now is the time to put these tools to use.
Together with other federal agencies, we are part of the Ending the HIV Epidemic: A Plan for America federal initiative. This initiative, in response to the president’s pledge to end HIV, aims to reduce new infections in the U.S. by 90% by 2030.
We can beat AIDS, but we need your help
Today, Dec. 1, is World AIDS Day. It is the perfect time to learn more about how you can help end the epidemic. The steps are simple: test, prevent, treat.
Check out this short new video on these three steps and how you can help.
Test: Everyone should be tested at least once. If you’ve never been tested, ask your provider about it at your next appointment. If you are at risk, ask about regular testing.
Prevent: We have some great tools to prevent the virus, including Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis or PrEP. PrEP is a daily pill that is very effective. Ask your provider if PrEP is right for you. Other preventative measures include practicing safer sex and not sharing injection drug equipment.
You can ask your VA provider for a prescription for condoms or information about syringe services programs near you.
Treat: Treatments are incredibly effective. Treatments help people living with the virus to suppress it (reduce the amount of the virus in their blood). This not only helps keep them healthy, it also helps prevent the virus for being passed to others.
If you are living with HIV, we want to help you get and stay on treatment.
This World AIDS Day, we’re asking for your help in getting tested, practicing prevention, and, if you are living with HIV, getting and staying on treatment.
That’s it: test, prevent, treat. With these three things, we can end HIV, but only if we do it together. Learn more: www.HIV.va.gov
Elizabeth Maguire, MSW, is the communications lead for the HIV, Hepatitis and Related Conditions Program.