A Blueprint for Meaningful Community Engagement and Advocacy to End HIV and Viral Hepatitis

By Emily McCloskey, Manager, Policy and Legislative Affairs

A Path to Policy ToolkitToday, the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD) released A Path to Policy: A Blueprint for Community Engagement and Advocacy. The toolkit is designed to assist state health departments and HIV and viral hepatitis programs build their advocacy, policy development and implementation and community engagement efforts.

Public health agencies are the central authorities of the nation’s public health system that serve an essential role in the monitoring, prevention and management of HIV and viral hepatitis. Evidence-informed, science-based, effective public health programs that increase access to prevention, care, treatment and support for people living with HIV and viral hepatitis are a key part of how we can collectively Raise the Bars. These programs are most successful in legal and policy environments that incorporate a human rights approach to HIV and viral hepatitis. Because they provide a unique perspective, state health departments must be able to advance policy, advocate for programs and work with the communities they serve.

In order for state health departments to have an impactful advocacy effort, the health department must engage with many partners and utilize different cohesive, coalition-building strategies. This toolkit is intended to provide health departments with guidance for establishing, improving or sustaining meaningful community engagement, advocating for resources and policies necessary to end the epidemics, and educating policymakers and the public about their health department’s role, programs and the importance of accelerating HIV and viral hepatitis prevention, treatment and care nationwide.

How New York is Using Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) to End HIV

By Dan O’Connell, Director, AIDS Institute, New York State Department of Health

New York State Department of Health AIDS InstituteIn June of this year, New York’s Governor, Andrew M. Cuomo, announced a plan to bring HIV below epidemic levels in New York State by 2020. In this plan, pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is identified as one of three key strategies for reducing new HIV infections to sub-epidemic levels, and is a great example of how health departments can bring the domestic HIV epidemic to its end within a rapidly changing system of HIV prevention and care services and raising the bars of the HIV care continuum.http://www.newbalanceoutlet.cc Continue reading

NASTAD Releases 2014 Online AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) Formulary Database

For immediate release: June 10, 2014

Contact: Britten Pund, 202-434-8044, bpund@NASTAD.org

Washington, DC – Today, the National Alliance of State & Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD) released the 2014 Online AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) Formulary Database (the Database) and accompanying User’s Guide. The Database details ADAP coverage of medications both individually and by drug class, marking the first time state-by-state ADAP formulary coverage data has been made publicly available in an online searchable format. NASTAD receives frequent requests regarding individual states’ formulary composition. This newly-released online format provides a method to query this data. Medications included in the Database include antiretroviral (ARV) treatments and “A1” Opportunistic Infections (A1 OI) medications, as well as treatments for hepatitis B and C, substance use treatment medications and various vaccines and laboratory tests. The Database includes formulary information from all 50 states as well as the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico, as of March 31, 2014. Moving forward, the Database will be updated as new information becomes available. In addition, interested parties are encouraged to contact individual ADAPs with specific questions about medication availability. Continue reading

How Health Departments Are Advancing Viral Hepatitis Prevention and Care

By Chris Taylor, Director, Viral Hepatitis, NASTAD

NASTAD World Hepatitis Day 2014 White House Recognition

NASTAD Staff: Left to Right: Murray Penner, Deputy Director; Julie Scofield, Executive Director; Chris Taylor, Director, Viral Hepatitis

Last month, Julie Scofield, Executive Director of the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD), was recognized by the White House Office of Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) and Office of National AIDS Policy (ONAP) for her leadership in the prevention and treatment of viral hepatitis. The event was held at the White House in observance World Hepatitis Day. NASTAD congratulates Julie Scofield and other colleagues recognized for their leadership to address the domestic and global viral hepatitis epidemics.

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NASTAD Supports Implementation of Information System Across Ethiopia

By Tibebe Shenie, Country Director, NASTAD Ethiopia and Anne Sites, Senior Manager, Global Program, NASTAD

Wubshet Denboba

Wubshet Denboba, Health System Strengthening Senior Specialist, NASTAD Ethiopia

The recently released UNAIDS Gap Report highlighted many significant achievements in the global fight against HIV/AIDS, including a 13% decrease in new HIV infections and a 19% reduction in AIDS-related deaths over the past three years. But the report also emphasized that much work remains to be done to ‘close the gap’ between those who have access to life-saving services and those who do not. It is critical that Ministries of Health be able to utilize high quality HIV data to address these gaps, and to direct client-level interventions to locations and populations with the greatest need. In Ethiopia, NASTAD is contributing to this effort as it supports the Federal HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Office (FHAPCO) in the implementation of a Multi-Sectoral Response Information System (MRIS).

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