Philly has new strategic plan to end HIV epidemic

By KYW Newsradio

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The city of Philadelphia is out with a new community plan to end the HIV epidemic.

Through community engagement and epidemiological data, a concrete strategic plan has been formed by the city that calls out failures and offers solutions to reduce new HIV infections by 75% within five years.

“It’s gonna take all of realizing that if HIV affects any of us, it affects all of us. Whether you are a person living with HIV or HIV negative. If you are a person in Philadelphia, this disease matters to you.” said Javontae Lee Williams, "Ending the HIV Epidemic in Philadelphia" planning coordinator from the Philadelphia Department of Health.

Efforts are being made to pump up the volume on educating people about HIV treatments and preventive measures.

Funding will be readjusted for some programs to meet current needs. And another thing being changed is provider barriers. There were limited office hours for care, Williams said, with 27% of people missing doctor’s appointments because they couldn’t take time off.

In a release, the Philadelphia Department of Public Health also said the plan will make "HIV rare using existing resources" such as modern treatment and PrEP, or preexposure prophylaxis.

In the statement, Williams also said that while HIV can't be ended entirely with tools that are currently available, “we can indeed end the HIV epidemic as we know it."