Giving Compass' Take:

• Jamie Ducharme discusses what it would take to reach President Trump's goal of ending HIV in America in ten years. 

• How can funders help to support and improve government efforts to address HIV? 

• Read about ways for funders to make an impact on HIV

About 1.1 million Americans currently live with HIV, and approximately 40,000 are infected each year, according to federal data. But in his State of the Union address, President Donald Trump promised to “eliminate the HIV epidemic in the United States within 10 years” — a plan that hinges on a multi-agency push for better diagnosis, treatment and prevention in at-risk communities, health officials said.

Eradicating HIV will require a closer look at factors that have prevented tools like PrEP from fully succeeding already — namely geographic and economic barriers that prevent people from getting the care they need, as well as stigma around HIV infection, Deren says. (Health officials also said they are prioritizing these issues.) The best way to solve these problems is by involving individuals who are affected by HIV in treatment and prevention efforts, she says.

“Although it’s great to work with health departments,” you also have to engage the target population to fully understand the barriers, Deren says.

Another obstacle is the opioid epidemic, she says. Since a substantial number of new HIV infections are related to injection drug use, Deren says evidence-backed strategies for fighting illicit drug use — such as medication-assisted treatment, syringe exchanges and safe injection facilities — could also bring down rates of HIV infection.

Giroir said he is “fully supportive” of tools like syringe service programs, but said the new effort will not focus on these resources.

Researchers are also looking into tools that may be more accessible and easier to use than pills like PrEP, such as longer-lasting anti-HIV injections or immunotherapies. Some scientists are also at work on HIV vaccines, though none have succeeded so far.

Some groups are skeptical of the administration’s focus on HIV, since those at high risk of infection include the LGBTQ community, people of color and individuals in lower-income areas — groups to whom Trump’s policies have not traditionally catered.

Read the full article about ending HIV by Jamie Ducharme at TIME Magazine.