Viral Hepatitis Prevention Coordinators Convene in DC

By Ronald Valdiserri, M.D., M.P.H., Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health, Infectious Diseases, and Director, Office of HIV/AIDS and Infectious Disease Policy, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Cross-posted from AIDS.gov

Drs. Ron Valdiserri, Ellie McCance-Katz, and John Ward dicussing federal viral hepatitis initiatives with Viral Hepatitis Prevention Coordinators from across the country.

Drs. Ron Valdiserri, Ellie McCance-Katz, and John Ward dicussing federal viral hepatitis initiatives with Viral Hepatitis Prevention Coordinators from across the country.

Last week I had the opportunity to discuss the federal response to viral hepatitis with some of our key allies in the states: the CDC-funded Adult Viral Hepatitis Prevention Coordinators who had assembled in Washington, DC for the third National Hepatitis Technical Assistance meeting organized and hosted by the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD). Continue reading

ADAP Crisis Task Force Announces Continued Partnership with Bristol-Myers Squibb and Boehringer Ingelheim for AIDS Drug Assistance Programs in the United States

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Murray Penner
202-434-8090
mpenner@NASTAD.org

ADAP AlertOctober 28, 2013, Washington, DC – The ADAP Crisis Task Force (Task Force) announced today that it has reached agreement with Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) and Boehringer Ingelheim (BI) to extend voluntary discounts/rebates and price freezes to all state AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAPs).  The continuation of existing agreements beyond 2013 will provide stability to ADAPs as they continue to navigate the uncharted terrain of a reformed health system as a result of implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and continued fiscal challenges at both the state and federal level.
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The Task Force, convened by the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD), previously secured continuation through 2014 of existing agreements for voluntary discounts and rebates from AbbVie, Gilead Sciences, Janssen Therapeutics, Merck and ViiV Healthcare.  Many of these agreements also provide continued price freezes for ADAPs for varying lengths of time into 2014 and 2015.  Continue reading

Communicating about HIV and Viral Hepatitis in Complex Times

By Meico Whitlock, Senior Manager, Communications, NASTAD

Cross-posted from AIDS.gov

Meico WhitlockLast month, the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD) attended the fourth annual Plain Talk in Complex Times conference in Arlington, Virginia. This year’s theme was “Communicating in a Time of Change.” The conference was hosted by the MAXIMUS Center for Health Literacy in collaboration with the American Public Health Association (APHA) and brought together leaders and decision-makers in fields such as public health, health communications, digital media, usability, accessibility, translation, interpretation, readability, design, and plain language to discuss communicating effectively with health consumers.

Sessions covered a range of topics such as writing for mobile device users, providing high quality care to linguistically diverse populations, and communicating effectively with numbers. A number of sessions also focused specifically on technology and provided helpful tips for tasks such conducting low-cost usability testing, enhancing website accessibility, producing podcasts, and graphic design for print materials. Continue reading

Ending Viral Hepatitis: Policy Recommendations to End the Silent Epidemic

By Oscar Mairena, Manager, Viral Hepatitis/Policy & Legislative Affairs, NASTAD

NASTAD Viral Hepatitis Policy AgendaHealth departments are at the forefront of our nation’s efforts to prevent new infections and create systems of care for people living with chronic viral hepatitis. Health departments, however, are at a critical transition point as implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) continues and more effective treatments for hepatitis C virus (HCV) come to market – a transition that requires federal investment in national and state-specific public health infrastructure in order to meet the changing needs of people living with and at-risk of viral hepatitis.
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Today, on the first day of the biannual National Viral Hepatitis Technical Assistance Meeting, NASTAD is releasing a policy agenda to combat viral hepatitis in the U.S. The policy agenda, Breaking the Silence on an Epidemic: Policy Recommendations to End Viral Hepatitis, provides recommendations for policymakers to better equip state and local health departments to provide the basic, core public health services to combat viral hepatitis; increase surveillance, testing and education efforts nationwide; and effectively reach the goals set by the Institute of Medicine (IOM), the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and other Viral Hepatitis Interagency Working Group members, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Continue reading

Strengthening the HIV Continuum of Care in South Africa

By Anna Carroll, Associate, Global Program, NASTAD

NASTAD staff visit the Hlalanikahle Clinic with Mpumalanga Department of Health Staff, the Health Facility Manager and Facility Based Support Group Facilitators

NASTAD staff visit the Hlalanikahle Clinic with Mpumalanga Department of Health Staff, the Health Facility Manager and Facility Based Support Group Facilitators

Since 2002, the number of people receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART) for HIV/AIDS in low- and middle-income countries has increased dramatically, from 300,000 in 2002 to 9.7 million in 2012. Despite this striking improvement, this represents only 34% of people currently eligible for ART under the 2013 WHO guidelines.

The National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD) Global Program has worked hard to reduce this massive treatment gap in South Africa, where an estimated 5.6 million people are living with HIV and AIDS, the greatest number of people in any country worldwide. In 2009, the South African government initiated the Integrated Access to Care and Treatment (I ACT) Program as one important component of its national response to the HIV epidemic. As a primary partner to provincial departments of health in South Africa, NASTAD began working in partnership with the Free State and Mpumalanga Provincial Departments of Health (PDoH) to support the implementation and development of I ACT in these provinces. Continue reading