Making progress towards ending AIDS

December 1 is World AIDS Day

Started in 1988, World AIDS Day is for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, to show support for people living with HIV, and to commemorate those who have died from an AIDS-related illness.

In Washington, about 14,000 people are living with HIV infection, and as many as 10% remain unaware of their positive status. People living with HIV and those at risk of HIV continue to be affected by HIV-related stigma, which fuels HIV transmission in our state.

To address this issue, Governor Inslee issued a proclamation in 2014, when the new-infection rate was 6.3 per 100,000 residents, to end AIDS in Washington. He set an ambitious goal to reduce the rate of new HIV diagnoses by 50% by 2020 — or 3.2 cases per 100,000 residents — and to reduce disparities in health outcomes for people living with HIV.

In collaboration with the Health Care Authority (HCA) and other partners, we’re making progress toward these goals. Today, all HIV drugs currently on the market are on Washington’s Medicaid Preferred Drug List. We’re ensuring people living with HIV on Medicaid can access medication. And we’ve made improvements to the data shared between agencies for easy identification of clients who may not have access to care.

In addition, the Bree Collaborative — a group charged with improving health care quality, outcomes, and affordability in Washington state — explored comprehensive healthcare for the LGBTQ community as part of their 2018 work plan.

“We are at the forefront of HIV prevention and care efforts in Washington state,” said Secretary of Health John Wiesman. “I am incredibly proud of the partnerships we have built and the progress we have made towards ending AIDS.”

By maintaining our state’s present efforts, we are positioned to reduce diagnoses and HIV-related disparities, and to significantly improve the health and well-being of people living with HIV.

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