How San Francisco Is Getting to Zero On HIV

Published: December 10, 2014

The Huffington Post
Mehroz Baig
Original Article:

San Francisco, once the epicenter of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, has since made great strides in reducing HIV transmission and implementing prevention policies. On this year’s World AIDS Day, San Francisco’s Getting to Zero Coalition unveiled a draft strategic plan, which aims to make San Francisco the first jurisdiction with zero new HIV infections, zero stigma and zero deaths.

"It’s important. You have to have a vision and a strategy for how to implement [that vision]," said Diane Jones, a nurse at San Francisco General’s Ward 86 and one of the presenters at the World AIDS Day forum.

The strategic plan is "an organizing principle for directing one’s resources and effort," said Dr. Diane Havlir, one of the co-founders of the Getting to Zero Coalition and professor of medicine at UCSF. She noted that the plan has a specific target for HIV infections: to reduce new HIV infections by 90 percent by 2020. Though similar targets do not yet exist for the number of deaths and stigma around HIV, Dr. Havlir said that the coalition is working on building a framework that looks at both. Specifically with regard to stigma, the coalition will look at ways with which to measure stigma.

There is a three-pronged structure to the plan for it to achieve its goal: expansion of PrEP, increasing the reach of the RAPID program and retention in care.

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