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This increase in funding will enable SFDPH to allocate new resources to populations disproportionately impacted by HIV while ensuring there is stable funding for existing initiatives and services.
"San Francisco has been a national leader in our response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic and in our efforts to get to zero new infections, with a large part of that success coming from our continued investments in preventing new infections," said Mayor Breed. "We have seen, especially during the COVID pandemic, how critical long-term investments in public health are for the well-being of our communities. This investment will allow us to keep moving in the right direction and strengthen our support for those living with HIV/AIDS."
"San Francisco's storied history on HIV/AIDS includes groundbreaking public health and community-based social services strategies that have saved countless lives, slowed the rate of HIV transmission, and created a model for how our City and others have handled public health challenges—up to and including COVID-19," said Supervisor Matt Dorsey. "As a person living with HIV, I've seen firsthand the difference our city and community-based partners can make, and I'm grateful to all of them. I'm thankful, too, for the partnership of Mayor Breed and Supervisor Mandelman in identifying these needed resources so all of us can continue our important work to fulfill the promise of San Francisco's ambitious Getting to Zero initiative."
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"San Francisco's excellent COVID-19 response diverted focus from other public health priorities, including HIV prevention and treatment, and it is time to redouble our commitment to Getting to Zero," said Supervisor Mandelman. "Thanks to the advocacy of long-term survivors and safety net providers, this funding will allow the City to sustain our existing HIV safety net while expanding services for underserved communities. I look forward to continuing to work with Mayor Breed, Supervisor Dorsey, and Dr. Colfax to ensure all Ryan White CARE Act cuts are backfilled."
New HIV diagnoses in San Francisco declined 22% from 168 diagnoses in 2019 to 131 diagnoses in 2020. This compares to an 18% decline from 2018 to 2019. However, the pandemic brought about declines in HIV screening in 2020 as well as declines in people accessing other forms of HIV care. HIV disparities in outcomes remain disproportionate, especially among people experiencing homelessness and Black/African Americans. More investment is needed to help overcome the setbacks in HIV prevention and care brought about by the pandemic, and to further improve the quality of life for people living with HIV through mental health services and engagement in care. Read the full 2020 Annual HIV Epidemiology Report here. Data for 2021 will be available later this year.
In 2014, City agencies, researchers, providers, community-based organizations, and activists came together in a collective impact initiative known as Getting to Zero. This initiative brings together people and resources from throughout the City with three goals mind: zero new HIV infections, zero HIV-related deaths, and zero stigma and discrimination. HIV disparities by race and ethnicity, age, gender, housing status, and risk group remain a top priority for the City as Black/African Americans, Latinx, Asian and Pacific Islanders, gay men, trans women, people who use drugs, and youth/young adults, face disproportionate levels of HIV, Hepatitis C, and sexually transmitted infections.
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"We are pleased to see San Francisco make further investments in HIV prevention and care," said Director of Health, Dr. Grant Colfax. "We have made much progress Getting to Zero, but clearly we have much more to do to improve the health outcomes and quality of life for people living with HIV, including providing mental health services for long term HIV survivors. San Francisco is also focused on better reaching the most vulnerable populations who face the greatest barriers in accessing care."
"San Francisco AIDS Foundation thanks Mayor London Breed and Supervisors Matt Dorsey, Rafael Mandelman, and Hillary Ronen for their support of HIV prevention services in San Francisco," said Tyler TerMeer, PhD, CEO of San Francisco AIDS Foundation. "Thank you for listening to the needs of our communities, responding to the issues elevated by the HIV Advocacy Network and HIV/AIDS Providers Network, and working to ensure that everyone in this city is supported with the HIV prevention and care services that they need."
To strengthen San Francisco's commitment, SFDPH, in addition to existing initiatives, is funding "Health Access Points," which are population-focused one-stop networks that will provide low barrier access to comprehensive whole-person care and address the social determinants of health that create barriers to HIV, Hepatitis C, and sexually transmitted infections.
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