SAMHSA is one of several collaborating HHS agencies leading the Ending the HIV Epidemic: A Plan for America. SAMHSA’s goal is to improve prevention, increase testing frequency, and increase referrals and support linkage to HIV treatment when necessary. SAMHSA has concentrated 70 percent of the Minority AIDS initiative grantees within the 48 identified areas with the highest number of new HIV cases. These grantees of the MAI are required to request HIV testing on all individuals upon intake/enrollment and provide linkage to confirmatory testing and services upon positive results. SAMHSA can track the number of positive results and referrals for all grantees.
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World AIDS Day is a time to reflect on those we've lost to HIV/AIDS, as well as on how much progress we've made in the national response to HIV. It's also an important opportunity to assess where we need to improve and what our next steps should be.
As we observe World AIDS Day on December 1, we remember those we’ve lost to the disease, reflect on the progress we’ve made in treating patients, and resolve to end the HIV and AIDS epidemic. SAMHSA’s role in ending HIV is vitally important because the people we are charged with caring for – those with a mental or substance use disorder – are disproportionately affected by HIV.The good news is we have seen great success in treating HIV infection over the past 20 years. In fact, a 20-year old who is diagnosed today with HIV can have a near normal life expectancy if they take antiretroviral medication every day and maintain an undetectable level of virus in their blood.