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November 2010

November 30, 2010

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World AIDS Day

By Kevin Fenton, M.D., Ph.D., FFPH, Director, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, CDC (Cross-posted from Health Protection, Perspectives Blog)

Health Protection Perspectives

Every year on December 1, we commemorate World AIDS Day to bring attention to the tremendous impact of the HIV epidemic in the United States and around the world. In observance of World AIDS Day, today CDC launched a special report, CDC Vital Signs on HIV Testing in the United States, in recognition of the pivotal role that HIV testing plays in our national HIV prevention strategy.

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Tomorrow is World AIDS Day

FACING AIDS for the 37 friends I've lost to HIV

FACING AIDS for the 37 friends I've lost to HIV

By Miguel Gomez, AIDS.gov Director

Tomorrow, December 1, is World AIDS Day. This year was an important one for those of us working to respond to HIV -- from the signing of the Affordable Care Act, to the release of the White House National HIV/AIDS Strategy, to the exciting news about PrEP and microbicides.

On World AIDS Day, I want to pause to reflect on the vision laid out in the National HIV/AIDS Strategy, which says: "The United States will become a place where new HIV infections are rare and when they do occur, every person, regardless of age, gender, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity or socio-economic circumstance, will have unfettered access to high quality, life-extending care, free from stigma and discrimination."

That's a vision I believe in, and one I will work tirelessly with my colleagues around the country, and the world, to support. That's why I'm Facing AIDS this World AIDS Day. I hope you'll join me. Here's a few things we can all do:

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Lead Federal Departments Confer About National HIV/AIDS Strategy Plans

By Ronald Valdiserri, M.D., M.P.H, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health, Infectious Diseases, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Representatives of each of the Federal agencies designated by the President as lead agencies responsible for implementing the National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS) conferred by conference call last week to discuss the status of their respective department’s NHAS operational plans and to lay groundwork for future collaborations. Participants included representatives from the Departments of Labor, Justice, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, and Veterans Affairs and the Social Security Administration. In addition, representatives from the Department of Education and the White House Office of National HIV/AIDS Policy joined the call.

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November 29, 2010

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The National HIV/AIDS Strategy at the 2010 National Summit on HIV Diagnosis, Prevention, and Access to Care

By Ron Valdiserri, M.D., M.P.H., Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health, Infectious Diseases, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Dr. Ron Valdiserri, HHS

Dr. Ron Valdiserri, HHS

The closing panel of the 2010 National Summit on HIV Diagnosis, Prevention, and Access to Care Exit Disclaimer provided an in-depth discussion of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS) from a variety of unique perspectives. The session began with Dr. Anthony Fauci from the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases providing a comprehensive overview of the fundamental role of research in supporting the goals of the NHAS. Dr. Fauci’s presentation reminded the audience of the major research advances that have taken place since the initial description of AIDS in 1981 – not the least of which has been the development of a host of highly active anti-viral medications. Dr. Fauci also highlighted important gaps in our current prevention and treatment knowledge base that will need to be addressed in order to achieve the goals of the NHAS.

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November 24, 2010

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Engaging LGBT Leadership in the National HIV/AIDS Strategy

By Ron Valdiserri, M.D., M.P.H., Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health, Infectious Diseases, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

NHAS LGBT Consult Planning Meeting

Gay and bisexual men have comprised the largest proportion of the HIV epidemic in the United States since the first cases were reported in the 1980s, and that has not changed. They still comprise the greatest proportion of infections nationally. (For more details on HIV/AIDS among gay and bisexual men, see CDC’s fact sheet (PDF 263 KB) and latest surveillance data.) As with gay and bisexual men, transgender individuals are also at very high risk for HIV infection.

The National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS) states: “Given the starkness and the enduring nature of the disparate impact on gay and bisexual men, it is important to significantly reprioritize resources and attention on this community. The United States cannot reduce the number of HIV infections nationally without better addressing HIV among gay and bisexual men. Our national commitment to this population has not always reached a level of HIV prevention funding reflective of their risk.” (p. 14)

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