CDC Responds to HIV/AIDS

Since the first case of HIV was reported by the agency 30 years ago, CDC has made significant contributions to efforts to end HIV. The number of annual new HIV infections has fallen by more than two-thirds since the height of the epidemic, and HIV-related deaths dropped dramatically following the introduction of highly active antiretroviral therapy in 1996.

CDC remains on the forefront of pursuing High Impact Prevention and is aligning its recent efforts with the first National HIV/AIDS Strategy for the United States (NHAS). High-impact prevention is an approach to reducing new HIV infections by using combinations of scientifically proven, cost-effective, and scalable interventions directed to the most vulnerable populations in the geographic areas where HIV prevalence is highest.

New breakthroughs in HIV prevention research have created exciting opportunities to eliminate the epidemic in the United States. The 2015 strategy goals are:

  • Reducing the annual number of new HIV infections, HIV transmission rate, and percentage of people living with HIV who do not know they are infected.
  • Increasing access to care and improving health outcomes for people living with HIV by linking newly diagnosed patients to clinical care within 3 months of their HIV diagnosis and increasing the number of Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program clients in continuous care and with permanent housing.
  • Reducing HIV-related health disparities by improving access to prevention and care services for all Americans and increasing the proportion of HIV-diagnosed gay and bisexual men, blacks, and Latinos with undetectable viral load by 20%.

In fiscal year 2011, a large amount of DHP’s HIV prevention funds were distributed externally through cooperative agreements, grants, and contracts—primarily with state and local agencies, especially health departments. For more information visit DHP’s HIV Funding Awards page.

The National Center for HIV, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention (NCHHSTP) is responsible for most of CDC’s work to prevent HIV. In this Center is the Division of HIV Prevention (DHP) , charged with the mission of preventing HIV infection and reducing the incidence of HIV-related illness and death.

In addition to DHP, the following CDC offices also provide HIV prevention activities:

  • NCHHSTP’s other Divisions:
    • The Division of Adolescent and School Health supports state, territorial and local education agencies and national nongovernmental organizations to build the capacity of schools and youth-serving community-based organizations to provide effective HIV prevention education programs.
    • The Division of Sexually Transmitted Disease Prevention funds state and local health departments to support local prevention efforts to reduce risk behavior and increase STD and HIV testing among populations at greatest risk.
    • The Division of Tuberculosis Elimination promotes HIV testing for patients newly diagnosed with TB. People who are living with HIV and latent TB infection are at high risk of progressing to active TB, which is an AIDS-defining condition.
    • The Division of Viral Hepatitis conducts research and publishes guidance on hepatitis B and C infection in relationship to HIV, which shares common modes of transmission.
  • The Global AIDS Program (GAP) helps resource-constrained countries prevent HIV infection; improve treatment, care, and support for people living with HIV; and build capacity and infrastructure to address the global HIV/AIDS pandemic.
  • National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases
  • National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases
  • The National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion’s Division of Reproductive Health conducts epidemiologic, applied behavioral, and operations research on the prevention of HIV in women at risk for both HIV and unintended pregnancy.
  • The National Center for Environmental Health’s Division of Laboratory Sciences, through its Newborn Screening and Molecular Biology Branch, operates a multicomponent quality assurance program for laboratories testing dried blood spots for HIV antibodies, provides method development and analytical services for the measurement of Zidovudine and other antiretroviral drugs in epidemiological studies, and consults for emerging concerns in laboratory quality assurance.
  • The National Center for Health Statistics collects a variety of HIV/AIDS-related information in many of its data systems, including data on HIV-related deaths, the use of health services, and HIV knowledge and testing behaviors.
  • The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) develops, implements, and evaluates strategies to prevent the occupational transmission of HIV, with special emphasis on personal protective equipment and engineering controls. NIOSH also evaluates organizational and behavioral factors that influence prevention strategies.
  • The Office of Workforce and Career Development’s Training and Curriculum Services Division strengthens and enhances the community practice of HIV/AIDS prevention through consultation on the development, delivery, and evaluation of laboratory training.

View the fact sheet CDC’s Prevention Progress in the United States.