HHS Secretary Azar and HRSA Administrator Dr. Sigounas Address 4,000 HAB Conferees

Speaking at the opening of the 2018 National Ryan White conference this week, HHS Secretary Alex Azar noted that just 45 U.S. counties are producing more than half all new HIV cases in the nation and called for a "targeted approach" to the problem, "especially (in) the South."
Speaking at the opening of the 2018 National Ryan White conference last week, HHS Secretary Alex Azar noted that just 45 U.S. counties are producing more than half all new HIV cases in the nation and called for a "targeted approach" to the problem, "especially (in) the South."

 

"As of 2017, 86 percent of Ryan White patients are now virally suppressed, an amazing achievement and a number that has steadily improved over the years.  This is not just improving the lives of hundreds of thousands of patients, but also slowing the spread of the virus ... With the tools we have today, we can do much better."

- Secretary Azar, Dec. 11, 2018
National Ryan White Conference on HIV Care & Treatment
The Gaylord National Convention Center, Oxon Hill, Md

Read Secretary Azar's full remarks.

 

HRSA Administrator Dr. George Sigounas addressing the HAB conferees.

"Our agency works with each and every one of you here in the audience. You are the local, state, and national leaders who are on the front lines translating the latest science into practice ... Today, people living with HIV, who take their medication daily as prescribed and achieve and maintain an undetectable viral load, have effectively no risk of sexually transmitting the virus to an HIV-negative partner." - HRSA Administrator Dr. George Sigounas

 

Dr. Laura Cheever, Associate Administrator of the HIV/AIDS Bureau, addresses HAB conferees

"People over age 45 account for almost 60 percent of those receiving Ryan White services in 2017 -- up by 10 percent from 2010,"  reported Dr. Laura Cheever, Associate Administrator of the HIV/AIDS Bureau. That number demonstrates that people are living long, healthy lives. But it also raises new program imperatives in the years ahead: expanding and refining services for an aging population.  Viral suppression data also shows a 16.4 percent increase among patients in the program in the past decade -- the highest in history.  See more data from the HIV/AIDS Bureau.

But, she added: "We know that there are approximately 400,000 people living with HIV who are not engaged in care and, therefore, not achieving viral suppression, and we need to reach them in order to end the HIV epidemic. This is the next great challenge for the Ryan White program."

 

Dr. Anthony Fauci, Dir. of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, addresses the HAB conferees

Dr. Anthony Fauci, Dir. of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said that promising research is closing in on a longer-acting PrEP  drug -- or pre-exposure prophylaxis medication -- to prevent sexually transmitted infections among those who are currently negative, and to stave off transmissions from needle-sharing among those misusing opioids. Low rates of PrEP adoption in Southern states, he emphasized, at least partly explain why more than half of all new cases are now found there.  The U.S. South overall has the highest rates of new HIV diagnoses, people living with HIV, and HIV-related deaths of any U.S. region, the NIH reported on Tuesday, in announcing a new research initiative.

 

From left, Jeanne White-Ginder, Ryan's mom;  Dr. Cheever, with Steve Young, Dir., HAB Metropolitan HIV/AIDS Programs; and William McColl of AIDS United
From left, Jeanne White-Ginder, Ryan's mom;  Dr. Cheever, with Steve Young, Dir., HAB Metropolitan HIV/AIDS Programs; and William McColl of AIDS United.

 

Watch the video to learn more about HRSA's Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program.

 

Read more about the National Ryan White HIV/AIDS Conference.

Date Last Reviewed:  December 2018