Year in Review: Renewing our Commitment to Public Health

By Dawn Fukuda, Director, Office of HIV/AIDS, Massachusetts Department of Public Health and NASTAD Chair (Outgoing)

Dawn Fakuda

Director, Office of HIV/AIDS, Massachusetts Department of Public Health and NASTAD Chair

As I began my tenure as chair of the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD) in May 2013, I was full of energy and optimism. January 1st of 2014 was close at hand, and represented a massive new opportunity to invigorate our response to the HIV and viral hepatitis epidemics through the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

I was confident based on our experience with state health care reform in my home state of Massachusetts that increased access to medical care through broader insurance coverage would translate into health promotion and disease prevention outcomes that would advance our progress along the HIV Care Continuum. I remain steadfast in my belief that integrating an HIV and viral hepatitis response into primary medical care and reimbursable health services is the way to sustain our efforts into the future; yet the mechanics of the ACA roll out over the past year also provide a striking reminder of the essential and non-transferrable role of public health.

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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

NASTAD is Ready for USCA!

By Meico Whitlock, Senior Manager, Communications

USCA 2013Every year since 1988, the National Minority AIDS Council (NMAC) has convened the annual United States Conference on AIDS (USCA). USCA brings together service providers, healthcare professionals, advocates, people living with HIV/AIDS, and policymakers.

This year, conference will be hosted in New Orleans, Louisiana and the focus will be on two major themes: the impact of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHAs) and the need to improve the continuum of HIV care. The conference will also devote special attention to HIV/AIDS in the southern region of the U.S. Continue reading

Addressing the HIV Epidemic Among Gay Men of all Races and Ethnicities

By Meico Whitlock, Senior Manager, Communications, NASTAD

Engaging Gay Men/MSM

In May, during our 22nd Annual Meeting of state health department HIV and hepatitis program leaders in Washington, D.C., we hosted a discussion about the opportunities and challenges of addressing the prevention and care needs of gay men in the era of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS), High Impact Prevention (HIP) and the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The following is an interview with Isaiah Webster, Senior Manager, Health Equity and Prevention at NASTAD, and James Markiewicz, Director, Maine HIV, STD, and Viral Hepatitis Program, who shared their reflections on the session. Continue reading

The Affordable Care Act (ACA): Preparing HIV and Viral Hepatitis Programs for Implementation

By Meico Whitlock, Senior Manager, Communications, NASTAD

In May at our 22nd Annual Meeting of state health department HIV and hepatitis program leaders in Washington, D.C., we had an opportunity to hear from federal and state leaders about Affordable Care Act (ACA) Implementation and its impact on HIV/AIDS and viral hepatitis program providers. Below is an interview with Amy Killelea, Senior Manager, Health Care Access at NASTAD and Maria Courogen, Director of Infectious Disease and Reproductive Health at the Washington State Department of Health who shared their highlights of the discussion. Continue reading