Social Determinants of Health Feed

April 08, 2011

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New Action Plan to Reduce Racial & Ethnic Health Disparities

By Miguel Gomez, AIDS.gov Director

HHS Health Disparities Report

Today the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) unveiled the HHS Action Plan to Reduce Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities (PDF 2MB). This document will serve as a road map for eliminating health and health care disparities for racial, ethnic and other underserved communities. Addressing health disparities is a priority for the HIV community, and a key goal of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy, mentioned on page 8 of the HHS Plan.

For more information, visit the brand new National Partnership for Action website and learn how you can take action in your community.

February 01, 2011

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The Importance of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

By Meico Whitlock, AIDS.gov Fellow

For the last three years, our blog posts for National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD), February 7th of every year, have focused on new media or statistics about African Americans and HIV. This year we wanted to share with you thoughts from two of our colleagues. No new media. No statistics. Just important words about an important day:

As a Black gay man living with HIV, you know, the challenges for all of us are very difficult, but I think that what we should all know, that we should all also commit ourselves to, is that we can live long with HIV and that we can help to end the HIV epidemic in our communities. National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is an opportunity to recommit to that goal and to do everything that we can to overcome this and to make our communities healthy and well.

-Cornelius Baker, Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA) Member and Advisor to The National Black Gay Men's Advocacy Coalition Exit Disclaimer and the AED Center on AIDS & Community Health Exit Disclaimer.

Continue reading "The Importance of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day" »

January 31, 2011

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Institute of Medicine Issues Second Report on HIV Screening and Access to Care

By Chantelle Britton, Policy Advisor, Office of National AIDS Policy (Cross-posted from the Office of National AIDS Policy Blog)

Today, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) released the second report in a series that evaluates HIV testing policies and access to care. This report, which is entitled “HIV Screening and Access to Care: Exploring the Impact of Policies on Access to and Provision of HIV Care”, examines how Federal and State laws and policies and private health insurance policies affect entry into clinical care and the provision of continuous and sustained care for people with HIV. The report found that the lack of integration in State and Federal programs that assist people with HIV creates or exacerbates barriers to adequate HIV treatment. In addition, the report concludes that patients often experience medical and social difficulties as a result of their HIV status that, in turn, interfere with their HIV treatment.

In 2009, the White House Office of National AIDS Policy (ONAP) commissioned the IOM to convene a 15-member Committee on HIV Screening and Access to Care, which was tasked with planning and conducting a series of three workshops and activities that evaluate barriers to expanded HIV testing and treatment programs. The outcome of these efforts is the issuance of three reports that examine certain questions related to HIV testing policy and access to care. The Committee’s first report focused on the extent to which Federal and State laws and policies, private health insurance policies and practices, and other factors inhibit or promote expanded HIV testing. 

The final forthcoming report in the series will focus on the current capacity of the health care system to administer a great number of HIV tests and to accommodate new HIV diagnoses.

Last July, the President released the National HIV/AIDS Strategy for the United States that includes three primary goals of (1) reducing new HIV infections; (2) increasing access to care; and (3) reducing HIV-related health disparities. Of note, the goal of increasing access to care is tied to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, which will significantly expand access to care for people with HIV. This report highlights the opportunities within the Affordable Care Act to expand access, but also addresses the potential challenges we face with respect to ensuring services are coordinated and integrated to improve the quality of care for people with HIV.  As we work toward implementing the goals of the Strategy and the Affordable Care Act, we expect that the issues raised in the report will aid in our implementation efforts.

To obtain a copy of today’s report or the first report released from the Committee, please visit the IOM website at www.IOM.edu Exit Disclaimer.

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.

Continue reading "World AIDS Day" »

October 14, 2010

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National Latino AIDS Awareness 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

October 15 is the eighth annual National Latino AIDS Awareness Day (NLAAD), a day to take action to stop the spread of HIV in Latino communities across the United States.

Founded by the Latino Commission on AIDS Exit Disclaimer, NLAAD focuses on how Latinos can work together to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS in the community. This year's theme "Save A Life; It May Be Your Own" urges Hispanics/Latinos to get tested for HIV, which is critical to preventing the spread of HIV.

Continue reading "National Latino AIDS Awareness Day" »

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