We have achieved some hard-won victories against HIV in recent years. New infections among women and injection drug users are declining, people with HIV are living longer, and more people than ever know their HIV status. But one population — gay and bisexual men –is seeing infections rise, driven by increases among young gay men.
As I wrote last year, reducing new infections among gay and bisexual men, who bear the brunt of the new infections, is CDC’s top HIV prevention priority. If we are to bring down new HIV infections from 50,000 per year, we must focus on the tools with the greatest potential to slow the spread of the HIV – including powerful new prevention approaches that weren’t on our radar just a few years ago.
To help meet this challenge, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced new prevention initiatives up to $125 million to expand use of two potent but underutilized tools to slow the spread of HIV among gay and bisexual men, particularly men of color. One is pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP. The other, called Data to Care, is a new way of using surveillance data to help people living with HIV stay in care, protect their health, and reduce the risk of transmission to others. These two approaches reflect how CDC is reshaping its HIV prevention strategies in an era of new possibilities.