The California HIV/AIDS Policy Research Centers, together with HIV, viral hepatitis, and STD community-based organizations across California, have launched a community-driven effort to inform development of a statewide plan to end the HIV, HCV, and STD epidemics in California. What makes this initiative innovative and unique – in addition to community leadership – is its ambitious goal of addressing these health conditions as a syndemic – a set of linked health problems that interact synergistically and exacerbate poor health outcomes. The syndemic approach differs from the biomedical approach in that it treats diseases concurrently and also addresses the social determinants of health that drive these epidemics.
End the Epidemics: Californians Mobilizing to End HIV, HCV, and STDs, is a statewide coalition of over 100 public health and community organizations. In March 2019, End the Epidemics issued a community consensus statement, now signed by over 140 organizations, calling on Governor Newsom and the California Legislature to convene a high-level working group of key stakeholders to develop and implement a strategy to end the HIV, HCV, and STD epidemics.