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Statement by Assistant Secretary for Health Admiral Rachel Levine on World AIDS Day

Content From: U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services NewsroomPublished: November 30, 20232 min read

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Cross-posted from: HHS Newsroom

To observe World AIDS Day on December 1, Assistant Secretary for Health Admiral Rachel Levine, MD, released the following statement:

“Today, on the 35th commemoration of World AIDS Day, and prompted by this year’s theme, World AIDS Day 35: Remember and Commit, we pause to remember the estimated 39 million individuals living with HIV around the world, including 1.2 million people here in the United States. We also remember the more than 40 million people worldwide who have died from HIV/AIDS since the start of the pandemic.”

“The Biden-Harris Administration continues to prioritize investments to accelerate an end to the HIV epidemic in the United States. In recent years, federal, state, and local governments, and community- and faith-based organizations, along with our private sector partners, have made important progress in implementing the National HIV/AIDS Strategy, released by President Biden on World AIDS Day 2021. With support from HHS agencies, many partners in the communities most affected by HIV in the United States have been making progress implementing the Ending the HIV Epidemic in the U.S. initiative, now a key component of our work to implement the Strategy.”

“For 20 years, the U.S. President’s Plan for Emergency AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) has been one of our nation’s most profound transformational global investments, reaching thousands of communities with HIV prevention, care, and treatment services in 50 countries, saving more than 25 million lives and having enabled 5.5 million babies to be born HIV-free. But we cannot take PEPFAR’s success for granted, as losing the ground we have gained would have devastating consequences to people and their livelihoods around the world and in the United States.”

This World AIDS Day, as I join people and communities across the nation and around the globe in remembering those we have lost to AIDS-related illnesses and recognizing those with and experiencing risk for HIV, I recommit to accelerating our work to end the HIV epidemic.”

For information on where to find HIV services in your community, please visit the HIV.gov service locator. On the website, you may also read more about the National HIV/AIDS Strategy and HHS’ Ending the HIV Epidemic in the U.S. initiative.