Understanding the spread of HIV across the country and ending the epidemic

Published February 15, 2019

Eliminating HIV in the United States

President Trump and the Department of Health and Human Services announced a plan to eliminate the transmission of HIV in the United States by 2030. The plan will focus on the 48 U.S. counties where about half of new infections occur. Community health workers will aim to step up the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of infections within these regions. 

Understanding the impact

To understand the spread of HIV and the impact across the country, The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association studied claims data from 88 million BCBS commercially insured members as part of the on-going Health of America report. The research found the prevalence rate for HIV cases is increasing, especially among younger Americans. From 2014 – 2016, Millennial prevalence rates have increased by 62%. In addition, research from the CDC indicates that injection drug use fueled by the U.S. opioid crisis is causing a dramatic rise in HIV and viral hepatitis infections  

Blue Cross Blue Shield supports local communities

“Our goals are to reduce the stigma associated with a HIV positive diagnosis, provide access to screenings and deliver best-in-class care,” said Dr. Trent Haywood, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer. “Ending the spread of HIV starts at the local level and Blue Cross Blue Shield companies are committed to delivering high quality care that’s tailored to the communities we serve.” That care includes providing greater access to screening through mobile care vans, supporting educational efforts and enabling long-term care management for patients. The key to ending high transmission rates is knowing your status – get tested, diagnosed and treated as antiretroviral treatment drastically reduces the chance of spreading HIV to others.