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March 2011

March 31, 2011


Peace Corps Volunteers Are Leaders in the Fight Against HIV/AIDS

By Ambassador Eric Goosby, U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator (Cross-posted from the State Department Blog)


This month marks the 50th anniversary of the Peace Corps, and I would like to thank the thousands of volunteers who have responded to the HIV/AIDS crisis, one of the most serious threats to global health and development. The Peace Corps is a key partner and implementer of the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), which is working around the globe to save lives and promote a more secure world.

When PEPFAR was announced in 2003, Peace Corps was recognized as a key partner in the U.S. government's response to the global AIDS pandemic. Today, nearly 2,500 volunteers are working on PEPFAR-supported HIV programs in 46 countries. Many Peace Corps volunteers work on HIV education initiatives during their service. The Peace Corps currently trains all volunteers who serve in Africa, the Caribbean, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia to be advocates and educators for HIV prevention, care, and support.

Volunteers will continue to be first responders in local communities, dealing with the unfolding tragedies in the villages were they serve. Volunteers' “can do” attitudes mean that they find ways to “make do.” Where others may see a lack of resources, Peace Corps volunteers see a challenge and they respond with creative solutions. They contribute a clear understanding of what really works to fight the spread of disease and alleviate suffering.

Continue reading "Peace Corps Volunteers Are Leaders in the Fight Against HIV/AIDS" »

March 30, 2011


San Francisco’s New Approach to HIV Prevention

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


Dr. Ronald Valdiserri

With this post, we launch an occasional series, The Strategy in Action: Communities Respond to the National HIV/AIDS Strategy. In these posts, we will spotlight some of the ways that diverse communities from across the U.S. are undertaking efforts to support and implement the National HIV/AIDS Strategy.

This first post in the series features HIV prevention efforts currently underway in San Francisco, a city that holds a unique place in the history of our nation’s response to HIV. Not only was it one of the first and hardest-hit areas for HIV/AIDS, but San Francisco has always been be a leader in developing innovative strategies for preventing HIV and caring for persons living with HIV/AIDS. Recently, Dr. Grant Colfax Exit Disclaimer, Director of HIV Prevention and Research at the San Francisco Department of Public Health Exit Disclaimer (SFDPH), shared with us how his city has re-assessed and re-prioritized its HIV prevention efforts; Grant shared this information at a meeting with Federal and community leaders at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on March 16.

NHAS In Action

San Francisco, he explained, has had a fairly stable rate of new HIV infections in the past 10 years—between 500 and 1,000 per year. Leaders from the Health Department and the community recognized that if they were going to achieve the desired further reduction in the number of new HIV infections, they would have to make strategic changes in their prevention approaches. So the Department worked with its Community Planning Group over the course of a year to thoroughly and thoughtfully review and reprioritize the city’s HIV prevention plan. Last year, they released a 336-page five-year HIV prevention plan Exit Disclaimer. After analyzing their local epidemiology data, reviewing the scientific literature describing advances in prevention science, obtaining input from a variety of community sources, and considering their budget, they agreed they could do a better job if they targeted resources toward several priorities. These included:

Continue reading "San Francisco’s New Approach to HIV Prevention " »


An Update on PEPFAR in Côte d’Ivoire

By Ambassador Eric Goosby, U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator (Cross-posted from the State Department Blog)


The situation in Côte d'Ivoire is extremely precarious and volatile, yet the U.S. government remains committed to supporting Côte d'Ivoire's fight against HIV/AIDS through the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). PEPFAR has a long history of working in Côte d'Ivoire and other countries in conflict. In these settings, PEPFAR partners have exhibited incredible courage and dedication, working in challenging environments to ensure HIV/AIDS treatment, prevention and care services.

In the face of the current circumstances in Côte d'Ivoire, PEPFAR partners have led heroic efforts to keep life-saving programs running. I am committed to doing everything in my power to continue to support PEPFAR's vital work. My colleagues and I take this duty extremely seriously, as we recognize that the lives of people depend on our continued support for essential services.

At PEPFAR, we are working to find real solutions to the variety of challenges our partners are facing in Côte d'Ivoire. Unfortunately, with the reports of spreading violence and instability, the safety of partners and program beneficiaries is a major concern.

Continue reading "An Update on PEPFAR in Côte d’Ivoire" »

March 29, 2011


2011 Nonprofit Technology Conference

By Meico Whitlock, AIDS.gov Fellow


We attended the 2011 Nonprofit Technology Conference Exit Disclaimer (NTC) sponsored by the Nonprofit Technology Network Exit Disclaimer (NTEN) last week, along with hundreds of nonprofit organizations from across the country. This year 2,000+ people attended, making for the largest NTC ever. There was a of diverse group of presenters and attendees, including Dan Health Exit Disclaimer, co-author of Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard Exit Disclaimer, who gave a plenary talk on organizational change and Moira Gunn Exit Disclaimer, host of the weekly NPR show, Tech Nation Exit Disclaimer, who conducted a live interview with Congresswoman Donna Edwards on Net Neutrality.

We hosted a panel discussion on “Facing AIDS via Twitter, Widgets, Mobile, and More: Government Strategies for Online EngagementExit Disclaimer where we discussed some of the tools and strategies that AIDS.gov uses to reach to diverse audiences, including our Facing AIDS online photo sharing and mobile initiatives.

We also talked with a few attendees including Eric Diaz Exit Disclaimer, who works on the CDC en Español website and participated in the “Engaging Latinos OnlineExit Disclaimer session, and Alex Bernardin, Digital Content Manager at the San Francisco AIDS Foundation Exit Disclaimer about how they are using new media to reach, serve, and collaborate with their audiences.

There were a number of health organizations represented at the conference this year, and we look forward to seeing this presence grow. Keep an eye out for a specific focus on health at future conferences as we saw at SXSWi Exit Disclaimer, which one of our colleagues wrote about here.

If you weren't there this year, webinars of some sessions Exit Disclaimer and slides Exit Disclaimer are available online. The next NTC is April 3-5, 2012 in San Francisco, CA Exit Disclaimer. Will we see you there?

March 28, 2011


Honoring Dr. Mark Colomb’s Contribution to the Response to HIV

 By Christopher Bates, Executive Director, Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


Dr. Mark Colomb

This week we lost another leader in the HIV community. Dr. Mark Colomb (1963-2011) was passionately committed to Mississippi and other southern communities; and he focused on responding to the needs of Black men who have sex with men. Dr. Colomb participated in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) consultation which resulted in the establishment of the Minority AIDS Initiative (MAI) in 1997. The MAI provides critical resources to enhance and increase the access of racial and ethnic minorities to HIV/AIDS prevention, care, and treatment services. Dr. Colomb’s work helped pave the way for the creation of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD) Exit Disclaimer, an HIV/AIDS testing and treatment community mobilization initiative targeting the Black community; the founding of My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) Exit Disclaimer, a national organization dedicated to reducing health disparities in African-Americans, where he served as President/CEO; and the Mississippi Urban Research Center (MURC) Exit Disclaimer at Jackson State University (JSU) Exit Disclaimer, which serves as a clearinghouse for dissemination of research data on pressing urban issues.

As we remember Dr. Colomb, I encourage you to watch the following video from the Black AIDS Institute Exit Disclaimer where he speaks about his work in response to HIV in Mississippi:


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