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San Francisco reports progress in 'Getting to Zero' HIV prevention and treatment effort
Liz Highleyman, 2015-12-07 10:20:00
San Francisco made good progress in HIV prevention and
treatment during 2015, and its successes have brought the city national and
worldwide attention. But more work is needed to 'get to zero', especially
reaching groups currently underserved by current efforts.
"Like Silicon Valley in the tech world, San
Francisco is where innovation happens in the HIV world," Diane Havlir, chief of the HIV/AIDS division at San Francisco General Hospital, said at a December 1 forum commemorating
World AIDS Day.
Havlir and committee members from the city's Getting
to Zero Consortium gave a progress report on the initiative, which aims to make San Francisco the first US jurisdiction to eliminate new
HIV infections, HIV-related deaths and HIV stigma and discrimination.
"Highlights of this year's accomplishments
include a substantial increase in PrEP uptake, launch of a city-wide protocol
to ensure immediate access to care and treatment for people newly diagnosed
with HIV, and the beginning of a comprehensive program to increase retention in
care for everyone living with HIV," said Susan Buchbinder, director of Bridge HIV at the San Francisco Department of Public Health
(SF DPH). "In 2016, we'll build upon these early successes, with a
particular focus on populations in greatest need."
In an update to the SF Health Commission Buchbinder
presented findings from the SF DPH 2014 HIV Epidemiology Annual Report, showing that
the number of newly diagnosed HIV infections in the city fell by more than 18%,
from 371 in 2013 to 302 in 2014 - the lowest since the start of the epidemic.
The number of new infections fell in all racial/ethnic groups and only 14 women
were newly diagnosed last year. Deaths due to any cause among people with HIV
fell by 15% during the same period, from 209 to 177.