Fauci, who oversees research to prevent, diagnose and treat infectious diseases established at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told a House committee that the nation had not gone “back” in the fight against HIV.
Efforts to fight the pandemic have supplanted other medical research, putting some drugs in development on hold, with pharmaceutical companies diverting research and resources to Covid-19 treatments and vaccines.
“Obviously, when you shut down the company, accessibility for testing and the drug supply chain can be disrupted the same way everything is disrupted, including vaccinations for children,” he said. stated at a hearing of the House Appropriations Committee and the Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services.
About 1.2 million people in the United States are currently living with HIV and about 14% of them are unaware they have it, according to government data. About 38,000 Americans are infected with the virus each year, according to US data.
In 2019, the Trump administration announced a pledge to end the HIV epidemic in the United States by 2030, a goal that public health advocates have applauded and sought for years. However, some advocates subsequently expressed concerns that the pandemic’s impact on medical care would lead to an increase in new HIV infections.
Fauci, who has advised at least seven US presidents on HIV and other health issues, on Tuesday mentioned a number of advances in HIV care.
People at risk of contracting HIV can now take preventive drugs, also known as pre-exposure prophylaxis or PrEP, he said. PrEP can reduce the risk of infection through sex by about 99% in people who take the drug daily, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“PrEP, pre-exposure prophylaxis, is an important ingredient in our 10-year attempt from 2020 to 2030 to end the epidemic in the United States,” he said. “I believe, notwithstanding Covid-19, that we will achieve this goal. “