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SF Funding Aims to Completely Halt HIV/AIDS Transmission
  San Francisco officials set a goal to become the first city ever to halt HIV/AIDS transmissions, part of the "Getting To Zero" initiative announced last week at City Hall and backed by $1.7 million in new funding.
The Get To Zero consortium of local organizations coordinates services to provide a citywide, integrated program addressing the disease through prevention, direct linkage of diagnosis and treatment, and keeping patients engaged through the duration of care.
The increased funds come from an additional city allocation of $1.2 million and a $500,000 donation by MAC Cosmetics. Including the new funding, annual city expenditure on AIDS related programs tops $54 million.
"We want to have zero infections, we want to have zero deaths. We certainly want to have zero stigma," Mayor Ed Lee said, adding, "We are going to back it up with serious money."
"This is about San Francisco being a sanctuary from HIV infection," said Supervisor David Campos. "We want to be the first city not just in the country but in the world to do that."
With a record low number of new cases at 302 last year, the city now proposes to reach a 90 percent further reduction by 2020. At the height of the epidemic in 1992 annual new infections totaled 2,332. Local leaders say that with proper funding the goal of zero infections in the city could be possible within the next decade.
Johanna Brown, a transgender woman who has been living in San Francisco since 2011, said she was thankful for the city's programs.
After her HIV diagnosis in 1988 Brown said she lost her job as a nurse, struggled with substance abuse and was disconnected from her family. After moving to San Francisco and receiving appropriate health services her viral load is now undetectable and she is back to work as an outreach nurse. She said the social climate is different here and it makes healing easier.

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