Health & Science

CDC Takes Fight Against HIV To Houston

Harris County is one of 50 communities the CDC is targeting for an initiative to end the spread of HIV.


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The director of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention met with local health officials at Texas Southern University on Monday to discuss the government's initiative to fight HIV/AIDS.

Harris County is one of 50 communities where the CDC is focusing the initiative, which President Donald Trump first announced during his State of the Union address in February.

CDC Director Robert Redfield said half of all new HIV infections occur in 48 counties, Washington, D.C., and San Juan, Puerto Rico – all of them urban areas.

The goal is to cut new infections by 75% in the next five years and by 90% by 2030, by getting more people diagnosed and getting those most at risk on preventative medication.

"We have the tools, the scientific tools, it's to diagnose, get people into care and treatment, get the treatment so that their viral load becomes suppressed," Redfield said. "And then once your viral load is suppressed, the ability to transmit the virus to another person is negated."

In order to reach the goal, the CDC is working with local communities, including Harris County.

"I always say this initiative is not a Washington-driven initiative," Redfield said. "It will be locally defined by your health department and your community here and it needs to be by the community, for the community, in the community."

Harris County will develop a plan to submit to the CDC to receive funding for the initiative.

For the upcoming fiscal year, the president's budget allocates $291 million for the program.

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