World AIDS Day

Dear Colleague,

November 30, 2018

Inspired by the U.S. government’s theme for this year’s World AIDS Day, “Savings Lives through Leadership and Partnerships,” we are reminded that everyone can show leadership in HIV prevention—through day-to-day acts and by large-scale visionary action. We can discuss what needs to get done, develop new partnerships, and implement innovations that save lives and help achieve national HIV prevention goalspdf iconexternal icon.

For those of us working in HIV prevention and care, we can look at our program or community data, identify gaps in testing and treatment, and adopt evidence-based efforts to close them.

Nationally, we all still have work to do: Of the 1.1 million Americans living with HIV in 2015, 86% were aware of their HIV status, 63% received care, and 51% were virally suppressed. These outcomes are improved from the past, but not good enough. In addition, HIV diagnoses are not evenly distributed across states and regions.

To improve our domestic response, CDC is forging new partnerships, refining current activities, and launching new initiatives, such as:

  • CDC’s National Prevention Information Network (NPIN) and Emory University integrated data to provide a comprehensive, national directory of health service providers in the U.S. that offer pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).
  • Through a current cooperative agreement, CDC awards state and local health departments approximately $400 million each year for conducting HIV surveillance activities and providing high-impact prevention programs to the populations and geographic areas of greatest need.
  • Next year, CDC will award a new cooperative agreement to strengthen the capacity and improve the performance of the nation’s HIV prevention workforce. New elements include dedicated providers for web-based and classroom-based national training and technical assistance tailored within four distinct geographic regions.
  • Our Act Against AIDS initiative updated and re-launched efforts supporting heath care providers as they routinely screen everyone for HIV, prescribe PrEP to those who need it, and treat their patients living with HIV.

As we look at national and local data and pursue trusted and new interventions, we can make even greater progress in reducing HIV infections, improving health outcomes, and reducing health disparities in HIV diagnoses and care among all Americans.

On this World AIDS Day, we recognize all partners—including U.S. government agencies, state and local health departments, community-based organizations, national and local organizations, and individuals—and thank you for your ongoing work to stop this disease. By exhibiting strong leadership at all levels and by using data to guide our efforts, together we can continue to increase our impact in the years ahead.


/Eugene McCray/

Eugene McCray, MD
Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention
National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

/Jonathan Mermin/

Jonathan H. Mermin, M.D., MPH
RADM and Assistant Surgeon General, USPHS
National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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Page last reviewed: November 30, 2018