A New Millennium (2001–2005)

By 2001, HRSA had been providing HIV/AIDS services for more than 15 years. It began using its expertise more and more frequently to help countries in the developing world. But support was still badly needed at home.

The domestic epidemic was now off the front pages of America’s newspapers, yet HIV/AIDS prevalence exceeded 1,000,000. More than 16,000 people still died from AIDS every year. More than 40,000 new HIV infections occurred annually. Perhaps most daunting of all, 250,000 to 500,000 HIV-positive people were either unaware they were HIV-positive or not in care—or both.

In the 2000 reauthorization of the CARE Act, Congress urged that people not in care be given high priority. The CARE Act community was quick to respond. Existing initiatives were expanded, and capacity increased. Partnerships were forged with key points of entry into the medical system and with communities of faith.

But as these efforts redoubled, HIV/AIDS continued its advance into every corner of the Nation. When hearings for a third reauthorization began in 2005, the search for a vaccine or a cure remained a distant hope, and resources to fight the epidemic were as badly needed as when the millennium began.