The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Tuesday it would be allocating $185 million to HIV prevention efforts for men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender people.
In a news release, the CDC disclosed plans to award $125 million to state and local health departments. The agency also announced a focus on African Americans and Latinos with new programs designed to promote pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV negative people along with on-going care and antiretroviral treatment for HIV positive people to prevent transmission to others.
“By harnessing the power of recent scientific breakthroughs, we can change the course of the epidemic among MSM and transgender people – who continue to face the highest risk for infection in this country,” said Jonathan Mermin, M.D., the director for the CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS.
The CDC estimates more than half of the 1.2 million people living with HIV in the U.S. are men who have sex with men. PrEP, a treatment strategy of taking one pill of Truvada or Stribild, daily, has been widely praised for its success in blocking the virus that causes AIDS.
“Science tells us that increasing PrEP access and engaging more HIV positive people in care and treatment could prevent tens of thousands of new HIV infections, but these strategies remain underused,” said Eugene McCray, M.D., director of the CDC’s Division of HIV Prevention. “This new funding will drive wider adoption where it’s urgently needed and provide lessons on how to improve uptake nationally.”