The State of HIV/AIDS Progress & Applying Lessons Learned to Current Public Health Emergencies

October 12, 2022

In the late 1980s, HIV/AIDS became a significant threat to public health, with the virus ultimately taking the lives of an estimated 2 million people at the peak of the epidemic in 2006. With effective treatments and increased awareness, new HIV diagnoses were on the decline by the mid-1990s; and today, HIV/AIDS is now considered a chronic condition rather than a fatal disease. Despite the evolution of treatments and interventions, significant barriers to care (e.g., racial/ethnic disparities, stigma, treatment retention, HIV criminalization laws) remain. This event explored lessons for public health from the HIV/AIDS experience and how they map to COVID-19 and monkeypox response efforts.

Key Takeaways:

  • Purposeful community-embedded outreach and peer support, especially in marginalized populations, is essential to preventing HIV and eliminating barriers to quality care.
  • Utilizing medical advances such as PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) and other antiretroviral therapies can help end the HIV epidemic, but these tools are underused, and disparities in accessibility exist.
  • Destigmatization, particularly in intersectional communities, is critical to battling inequity, catalyzing progress, and advancing the lifespans of PLWHA (people living with HIV/AIDS).
  • Science-based discussions help depoliticize the HIV response and rebuild trust in public health.
  • The paradigm of HIV as an infectious disease is a source of experience and research that can help inform responses to current and future pandemics.
  • Investing in a sustainable funding model for the American public health system is essential to effectively dealing with infectious diseases.


  • Amesh A. Adalja, M.D., FIDSA, FACP, FACEP, Senior Scholar, Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security
  • Lindsey Dawson, MPP, Associate Director of HIV Policy and Director of LGBTQ Health Policy, KFF
  • Antoinette Jones, National Field Organizer, Positive Women’s Network
  • Anand Parekh, M.D., Chief Medical Advisor, Bipartisan Policy Center (moderator)

This event was made possible with support from the National Institute for Health Care Management (NIHCM) Foundation.

Presentation: The State of HIV/AIDS Progress & Applying Lessons Learned to Current Public Health Emergencies

Event Resources

Key Resources

(listed chronologically, beginning with the most recent)


“HIV in the United States.” National Institute for Health Care Management Foundation (NIHCM). September 28, 2022. Available here.


“Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Legislation.” Health Resources and Services Administration. February 2022. Available here.


“National HIV/AIDS Strategy for the United States 2022-2025.” The White House. November 2021. Available here.


“Key Questions: HIV and COVID-19.” Dawson, L., Kates, J. Kaiser Family Foundation. May 20, 2021. Available here.


“Ending HIV in America.” Hoagland, G., Parekh, A., Bailie, M., et al. Bipartisan Policy Center. September 24, 2019. Available here.


“Ending the Epidemic Requires Consent and Community Leadership.” Positive Women’s Network. 2019. Available here.



Additional Resources

(listed chronologically, beginning with the most recent)


“Living with HIV: Understanding the Patient Experience.” RAND Corporation. October 7, 2022. Available here.


“HIV/AIDS: Federal Strategy Includes QOL Indicators for First Time.” Scherer, L. Medscape. October 5, 2022. Available here.


“Fryer Lecture Awardee: HIV Epidemic Revealed Inequities That Persist Today.” Moran, M. Psychiatric News. June 28, 2022. Available here.


“How the Hard Lessons of the AIDS Crisis are Shaping the Response to the Monkeypox Outbreak.” Mast, J. STAT News. June 8, 2022. Available here.


“Lessons in Resilience: What HIV Teaches Us About COVID-19.” Saltzman, J., Sherer, R., Teter, C., et al. Contagion. May 31, 2022. Available here.


“A Timeline of HIV and AIDS.” April 29, 2022. Available here.


“What is the Impact of HIV on Racial and Ethnic Minorities in the U.S.?” January 26, 2022. Available here.


“The Affordable Care Act and HIV/AIDS.” January 17, 2022. Available here.


“HIV Prevention in the United States: Mobilizing to End the Epidemic.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. October 1, 2021. Available here.


“Nurses at the Frontline of Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Response: Lessons Learned from the HIV/AIDS Pandemic and Emerging Infectious Disease Outbreaks.” Guilamo-Ramos, V., Thimm-Kaiser, M., Benzekri, A., et al. The Lancet Infectious Diseases. October 2021. Available here.

“The Interplay between HIV and COVID-19: Summary of the Data and Responses to Date.” Brown, L., Spinelli, M., Gandhi, M. Current Opinion in HIV and AIDS. January 2021. Available here.

“Challenging the Moral Authority of the FDA: A Lesson from History.” Clark, J. CATO Institute. November 20, 2020. Available here.

“Disparities in New HIV Infections.” National Institute for Health Care Management Foundation. October 20, 2020. Available here.

“Integrating HIV Care, Treatment, and Prevention Services into Primary Care – A Toolkit for Health Centers.” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration. July 2018. Available here.



Amesh Adalja, M.D., FIDSA, FACP, FACEP
Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, Senior Scholar

Lindsey Dawson, MPP
Kaiser Family Foundation, Associate Director of HIV Policy and Director of LGBTQ Health Policy

Antoinette Jones
HIV Public Speaker, Mentor, and Advocate; Positive Women’s Network – USA, National Field Organizer

Anand Parekh, M.D., MPH (moderator)
Bipartisan Policy Center, Chief Medical Advisor

Experts and Analysts

Cyndee Clay
HIPS, Executive Director

James W. Curran, M.D., MPH
Emory University Rollis School of Public Health, Dean Emeritus and Professor of Epidemiology and Global Health

Catherine Hanssens, J.D.
The Center for HIV Law and Policy, Chief Strategy Advisor

William A Haseltine, Ph.D.
ACCESS Health International, President

Jennifer Kates, Ph.D., MPA, M.S.
KFF (Kaiser Family Foundation), Senior Vice President and Director, Global Health and HIV Policy

Ace Robinson, MPH, MHL
PCAF (formerly known as Pierce County AIDS Foundation), Chief Executive Officer

Tyler TerMeer, Ph.D., M.S.
San Francisco AIDS Foundation, Chief Executive Officer


Nathan Fecik, MPH
United States Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Infectious Disease Policy and HIV/AIDS Policy, Public Health Advisor

Harold J. Phillips, M.S.
White House Office of National AIDS Policy, Director


Mark Hamelburg
America’s Health Insurance Plans, Senior Vice President, Federal Programs

Joy Lewis, MPH, MSW
American Hospital Association, Institute for Diversity and Health Equity, Executive Director; Health Equity Strategies, Senior Vice President

Caya Lewis Atkins, MPH
The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, Senior Technical Coordinator, Adolescent Girls and Young Women

Stella A Safo, M.D., MPH
HIV Primary Care Physician; Just Equity for Health, Founder