Sending Office: Honorable Susan Wild
Current Co-Signer(s): Rep. Susan Wild, Rep. Val B. Demings, Rep. Ted Deutch, Rep. Yvette D. Clarke, Rep. Gregory Meeks
Please join me in sending a letter to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding its initiative,
Ending the HIV Epidemic: A Plan for America. This initiative will work with communities in 48 counties throughout the United States, San Juan, and Puerto Rico, as well as 7 states with substantial rural needs to end the HIV epidemic. The initiative’s
goal is to achieve a 75% reduction in new HIV infections within 5 years and a 90% reduction within 10 years. Reduction is only possible with early diagnosis, treatment, and prevention.
The letter to the CDC inquires about its implementation plan for this initiative and stresses the importance of rapid HIV-self testing—a public health tool that aligns with the first pillar of HIV elimination:
early diagnosis. Self-testing is a particularly effective tool in reaching rural areas and hard to reach populations, and it also provides an alternative to clinical appointments that may carry with them negative stigmas. The letter asks the CDC to
incorporate rapid self-testing into its initiative and asks for additional details about the initiative’s infrastructure, community collaborations, and overall strategic direction, so that community stakeholders may assist the CDC in accomplishing its goals.
The Journal of the American Medical Association has recently published an article regarding the importance of HIV self-testing (https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/article-abstract/2754809).
The full text of the letter is set forth below. Please contact Zach Fowler (Zach.Fowler@mail.house.gov) to become a co-signer on this letter.
Member of Congress
Robert R. Redfield, M.D.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
1600 Clifton Road
Atlanta, GA 30333
Dear Director Redfield:
Thank you for your ongoing efforts to address HIV, including through emerging activities outlined within,
Ending the HIV Epidemic: A Plan for America. As you and your colleagues work to implement the HIV elimination plan, we write today to inquire on the specific opportunities for progress made possible with rapid HIV self-testing.
Self-testing is an important public health tool that aligns well with the goals of the HIV elimination plan; most notably the first pillar of diagnosing all Americans affected by HIV as quickly as possible. Self-testing is particularly
effective for reaching rural areas and hard to reach populations. We understand that CDC appreciates the value and importance of this technology due to recent publications and presentations related to the roll out of the elimination plan (such as the June
28th, 2019, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report).
In this regard, please provide timely feedback on how rapid HIV self-testing will be incorporated into public health efforts supported by the HIV elimination plan. Specifics and details related to funding opportunities and infrastructure,
community collaborations, and overall strategic direction would be particularly helpful. While we understand that some activities may still be in the planning stages, we are further interested in the overall thinking of CDC and HHS as it pertains to emphasizing
the role of rapid HIV self-testing where impactful and appropriate. We look forward to working with you to fully support the HIV elimination plan and to pursue its goals, and we appreciate any feedback or guidance on the utilization of rapid HIV self-testing.
Members of Congress
e-Dear Colleague version 2.0