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May 02, 2011


HHS Region VIII Agencies Convene to Discuss National HIV/AIDS Strategy Implementation

By CAPT Zachary Taylor, M.D., M.S., Regional Health Administrator – Region VIII, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Zachary Taylor

With efforts to implement the National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS) unfolding across the country, we thought it would be valuable to gather our Federal colleagues in this region to identify ways to coordinate and collaborate in our HIV/AIDS-related activities. After all, the NHAS calls for a more coordinated national response to the epidemic. To realize the goals of the NHAS, this coordination must take place not just at the Federal level, but also at the regional, state and community levels.

As the senior Federal public health official in the region for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), my responsibilities encompass four major areas: prevention, preparedness, health equity, and agency-wide coordination. In this capacity, I work closely with the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH), which has taken a lead role in forging collaborations across HHS and with other Federal departments to implement the NHAS. Borrowing from that example, we planned a joint meeting of regional staff from HHS and other Federal departments for a discussion about implementing the NHAS in this region. The HHS Region VIII encompasses Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming.

The level of enthusiasm from our partners was impressive. Joining in this conversation were regional representatives of numerous HHS agencies including the Health Services and Resources Administration (HRSA), Administration on Aging (AoA), Administration on Children and Families (ACF), Office for Civil Rights (OCR), Office of Population Affairs (OPA), Office of Minority Health (OMH), and Office on Women’s Health (OWH). In addition, representatives from the Departments of Agriculture, Education, Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Justice (DOJ), Labor (DOL), and Veterans Affairs (VA), and the Social Security Administration (SSA) joined the discussion (this list includes all of the agencies tasked by the White House with lead responsibility for implementing the Strategy as well as several other welcome additions). The broad organizational diversity of the partners, along with their collective depth of experience and perspective made for a very rich discussion.

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Perspectives from Missouri

By Christopher Bates, M.P.A., Executive Director, Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS, and Senior Advisor to the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health, Infectious Diseases, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Christopher Bates

Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to spend time in Missouri speaking with audiences about the National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS) and learning about what they are doing to support implementation of the Strategy locally. As in other communities across the country, the folks I spoke to in Kansas City and Jefferson City are eager to contribute locally to the nationwide efforts to achieve the Strategy’s goals.

In Kansas City, I spoke to the Campaign to End AIDS Exit Disclaimer (C2EA) Annual Summit. C2EA is a diverse coalition of people living with HIV and AIDS, their advocates, colleagues, friends, and loved ones. The panel discussion in which I participated was entitled “National HIV/AIDS Strategy Implementation: Federal to State to Community.”

NHAS In Action

The title captures the importance of engaging all sectors of society in implementing the Strategy if we are to achieve its important and life-saving goals. Joining me on that panel was Missouri’s State AIDS Director, Michael Herbert, who shared some of the approaches his agency is taking to align programs and activities with the Strategy’s goals to reduce new HIV infections, increase access to care, and reduce HIV-related health disparities. I provided an overview of what is underway at the Federal level and also encouraged the participants to ground their efforts in science, conduct assessments so they know what works best in their community in terms of prevention and treatment, and scale up those efforts sufficient to meet demand in the communities most impacted.

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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:

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