Noticed yearly on December 1 since 1988, World AIDS Day permits the worldwide neighborhood to unite with one voice to commemorate the individuals who have misplaced their lives to AIDS, present assist of individuals residing with and affected by HIV, and lift consciousness for the continued significance of HIV prevention, care, and therapy. This yr, World AIDS Day is particularly poignant as a result of 2021 marks 40 years because the starting of the HIV epidemic.
At SAMHSA, we wish to take this chance to recollect the greater than 36 million individuals globally, together with over 700,000 individuals in america, who’ve died from AIDS-related sickness because the begin of the HIV epidemic. We honor the progress the worldwide neighborhood has made within the combat towards HIV previously 40 years whereas additionally recommitting to the worldwide effort to finish the HIV epidemic.
SAMHSA’s mission is to scale back the influence of substance abuse and psychological sickness on America’s communities. Individuals with psychological or substance use issues are at an elevated danger of HIV. Substance use and psychological well being therapy facilities like these of SAMHSA’s grantees and associate organizations serve on the entrance traces of the HIV epidemic. They supply an necessary pathway to HIV testing, therapy for individuals who check optimistic, and prevention providers to make sure that people who find themselves HIV-negative keep unfavorable.
As one in every of a number of collaborating HHS businesses collaborating within the federal initiative Ending the Epidemic within the U.S., SAMHSA’s principal objectives are to: 1) scale back new HIV infections; 2) enhance HIV-related well being outcomes; 3) scale back HIV-related well being disparities for racial and ethnic minority communities by rising testing incessantly; 4) enhance referrals to therapy for HIV optimistic people; 5) present pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV-negative people; and 6) assist linkage to HIV therapy for enrollees that check HIV-positive.
The theme for World AIDS Day 201 is Ending the HIV Epidemic: Equitable Entry, Everybody’s Voice. SAMHSA is dedicated to utilizing new methods and progressive approaches to finish the HIV epidemic. Led by our Workplace of Behavioral Well being Fairness, SAMHSA is working to place well being fairness on the middle of our response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. SAMHSA funds a number of grant packages that deal with well being inequalities skilled by communities disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS. The Heart for Substance Abuse Remedy (CSAT) manages Minority AIDS Initiative: Excessive Threat Populations, which focuses on rising entry to substance use and HIV prevention providers for the very best danger and hardest-to-serve racial and ethnic minority populations. CSAT additionally funds the Focused Capability Enlargement: HIV Program, which focuses on high-risk populations together with racial and ethnic minority populations and homosexual, bisexual, and transgender people who’ve a substance use dysfunction or co-occurring dysfunction who’re HIV optimistic or in danger for HIV/AIDS.
The Heart for Psychological Well being Companies funds the Minority AIDS Initiative: Service Integration grants, which focuses on built-in evidence-based, culturally competent psychological and substance use dysfunction therapy with HIV main care and prevention providers to people with a severe psychological sickness or co-occurring dysfunction residing with or in danger for HIV and/or hepatitis in at-risk populations. The Heart for Substance Abuse Prevention funds SAMHSA’s Prevention Navigator Grants, which offer providers to these at highest danger for HIV and substance use issues utilizing a navigation strategy to expedite providers for these populations.
Whereas SAMHSA workers are happy with the work now we have achieved and proceed to do to increase substance abuse, psychological well being, and HIV care and therapy into these communities which are underserved, we acknowledge that there’s nonetheless a lot to be achieved. We should nonetheless work to realize equitable entry to HIV prevention, care, and therapy in each neighborhood—significantly for communities of shade, the LGBTQ+ neighborhood, and different key affected populations together with individuals with substance use dysfunction and psychological dysfunction.
Defending and additional increasing HIV progress would require a sustained dedication from all sectors of society and throughout different authorities approaches from nations all through the world. Working collectively, and leveraging our respective comparative benefits, we are able to make sure the HIV providers can be found and accessible by individuals of all ages, gender, and inhabitants group worldwide. SAMHSA’s grantees have developed progressive methods to ship substance use dysfunction, psychological dysfunction, and HIV testing and referrals.
On World AIDS Day 2021, SAMHSA workers commends our grantees, federal companions, and the substance use dysfunction and psychological well being neighborhood as an entire for working towards our shared objective of ending the HIV epidemic in america. Thanks for the work you do to avoid wasting lives and enhance the well being of the individuals of America.