Year in Review: Top 10 Blog Posts about Health Department HIV Programs for 2014

By Michelle Allen, Senior Associate, Communications, NASTAD

NASTAD LogoAs we prepare to close out the year, we at NASTAD are looking back at some of the stories and content that generated the most interest on website and blog in 2014. We encourage you to revisit these stories and share the information as you prepare your jurisdiction or organization for the New Year. Continue reading

Engaging Key Populations in Trinidad and Tobago for Bio-behavioral HIV Surveillance

By Tracie Rogers, Study Lead, NASTAD, Trinidad and Tobago

HIV surveillance among key populations has been identified as a national priority by the government of Trinidad and Tobago since 2004. Despite this, human resource challenges and a lack of surveillance expertise have contributed to the absence of surveillance data to inform the government’s HIV/AIDS response for these populations. NASTAD, in partnership with the Ministry of Health HIV/AIDS Coordinating Unit, has worked to address this need through the implementation of a surveillance survey with one prioritized population, and a formative assessment to inform the conduct of another surveillance survey with a second population. These initiatives have elucidated the realities of key populations and equipped the government with empirical evidence to inform programmatic areas. Continue reading

The Public Health Imperative to Integrate Drug User Health into Broader Health Care Systems

By Amy Killelea, Associate Director, Health Systems Integration, NASTAD

Principles of Harm Reduction“We must meet people where they are, and help more people on the path to better health … Together we can work toward the same mutual goals – to reduce the consequences of drug use, to prevent overdose deaths, and to help people live safer and healthier lives.” Michael Botticelli, Acting Director, White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) speaking at the 10th National Harm Reduction Conference in Baltimore. Continue reading

Illinois health dept. discusses plans for PrEP assistance

By Gretchen Rachel Blickensderfer, Windy City Media Group

Cross-posted from Windy City Media Group

Dr. Mildred Williamson

Dr. Mildred Williamson

With the 26th annual World AIDS Day commemorated Dec. 1 across the globe by communities, governments and organizations, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) HIV/AIDS Inter-Agency Taskforce unveiled strategies for the implementation of a program to dramatically improve access and affordability of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) medication for at-risk individuals statewide. Continue reading

Six Lessons for Health Departments Using PrEP as an HIV Prevention Tool

By Dave Kern, ‎Manager, Infectious Disease Prevention Section at Washington State Department of Health

Dave Kern

Dave Kern

In Washington State, we’ve spent a lot of time talking about pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), the use of antiretroviral medication to prevent HIV infection, and what it means for our work. We’ve been inspired to acknowledge our fears, both known and hidden, and to seize the hope and promise that’s evolving before our eyes. We’ve given ourselves space to be curious, to make mistakes and to be OK with not creating the perfect plan. More importantly, we’ve made the decision to act, even as we continue to define our commitment. Continue reading