Philadelphia Department of Health’s AIDS Activities Coordinating Office changes its name to the Division of HIV Health
The name change reflects the office’s change in focus from AIDS to HIV and prevention.
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On Feb. 1, the AIDS Activities Coordinating Office (AACO) of the Philadelphia Department of Health officially changed its name to the Division of HIV Health (DHH).
The AACO was established in 1987 by former Mayor W. Wilson Goode to manage the HIV epidemic in Philadelphia.
In a press release, it was explained why the name change occurred.
According to Dr. Kathleen Brady, Director of the Division of HIV Health, most people with HIV will never develop AIDS.
“Therefore, the term AIDS is no longer reflective of the work of the Division. Its focus is now on health.”
“Thanks to the advances in HIV treatment, a person with HIV can expect to live an essentially normal life span and healthier lives. In addition, the DHH’s health focus, which includes preventing people from getting HIV, is assisted by the availability of more tools than ever to effectively prevent HIV,” the press release continues.
DHH is responsible for managing Federal, state, and local funding for HIV-related services in the City of Philadelphia and in eight counties in southeastern Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey that surround Philadelphia.
The office also directs available public resources for care, prevention, and the collection of HIV-related public health data.
There are 48 counties in the U.S., including Philadelphia county, that receive federal funding under the Ending the HIV Epidemic: A Plan for America (EHE) initiative. The goal of EHE is a 75% reduction in new diagnoses by 2025 and a 90% reduction in new diagnoses by 2030.
DHH is using 5 key pillars to reach these goals:
- Diagnose people with HIV as early as possible.
- Treat people quickly and effectively to reach sustained viral suppression.
- Prevent new transmissions with proven interventions, such as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and syringe service programs (SSPs).
- Respond quickly to potential outbreaks to get people needed prevention and treatment services.
- Work to eliminate health disparities and achieve health equity as well as attain health literacy and provide the highest level of customer service to improve the well-being of people with HIV and those at increased risk of exposure.
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