Public Health Initiative: The HIV Care Continuum

Subject: Public Health
Pages: 2
Words: 294
Reading time:
3 min

Overview of the Public Health Initiative

The HIV care continuum is a public health initiative introduced by President Barrack Obama in 2013 to improve America’s HIV/AIDS fight. The HIV Care Continuum has only four distinct stages that include HIV testing and diagnosis, getting and staying in medical care, getting on antiretroviral therapy, and achieving viral suppression. Its primary goal is to improve the quality of care at each stage of HIV management and encourage more victims to seek federal health support in HIV management (U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, 2016). The HIV care continuum has received support from different health stakeholders because it highlights areas where improvements in the national HIV management strategy are needed (Barrazotto, 2013).

The rationale for Selecting the Public Health Initiative

I have selected the above-mentioned public health initiative because since many people already understand how HIV spreads and how to prevent it, the biggest challenge today rests in getting more people to be tested and keeping affected persons under constant treatment (Wright & Carnes, 2016). According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (2016), there are more than 1.2 million people living with HIV in the U.S. Only 86% of them knew their condition through proper diagnosis. The rest (14%) were unaware of their condition and lacked adequate access to treatment (U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, 2016). Similarly, only 30% of infected persons have the virus under control and the rest either do not have access to treatment options or have discontinued care at different stages of the care continuum (U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, 2016). The HIV care continuum initiative helps to address such problems by increasing the number of people under care and maintaining them in the same program.

Supply and Demand in Public Health

It is important to realize cost effectiveness when providing public health services (Thompson & Duintjer-Tebbens, 2006). This is partly achievable through the balance of supply and demand forces in the provision of public health services. The imbalance between the demand and supply of physicians in the health sector exemplifies such an issue (Snyderman, Sheldon, & Bischoff, 2002). Indeed, today, the demand for physician services outstrips the supply of the same. Although there have been significant strides made to address this issue, there are still significant shortfalls in the supply of physician services, especially in specialist areas of health, such as surgery.

According to Snyderman et al. (2002), economic growth could significantly affect the price elasticity of physician services. This is because economic growth affects the purchasing power of patients by determining how much they are willing to pay, or can pay, for health services. If there were a low economic growth, patients would be unable, or unwilling, to pay for “expensive” physician services, thereby lowering the supply of the same (Getzen, 2013). The opposite is also true because in times of economic boom, patients would be capable and more willing to pay for physician services, thereby increasing its supply, as many physicians would be attracted to better pay.

Price elasticity would influence the demand for public health goods and services by affecting people’s purchasing power. For example, when prices are high, the demand for public health goods and services would drop because many people would shy away from the high prices (Getzen, 2013). They could possibly seek alternative forms of treatment, or delay the same, if the situation calls for it. Comparatively, when prices are low, the demand for public health goods and services could increase because more people would afford health care services (Getzen, 2013).


Barrazotto, C. (2013). Life Don’t Have To End. New York, NY: First Edition Design Pub.

Getzen, T. E. (2013). Health economics and financing (5th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons.

Snyderman, R., Sheldon, G. F., & Bischoff, T. A. (2002). Gauging supply and demand: The challenging quest to predict the future physician workforce. Health Affairs, 21(1), 167–168.

Thompson, K. M., & Duintjer-Tebbens, R. J. (2006). Retrospective cost-effectiveness analyses for polio vaccination in the United States. Risk Analysis: An International Journal, 26(6), 1423–1440.

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. (2016). HIV/AIDS Care Continuum. Web.

Wright, E., & Carnes, N. (2016). Understanding the HIV/AIDS Epidemic in the United States: The Role of Syndemics in the Production of Health Disparities. New York, NY: Springer.