Maximizing Health, Minimizing Harm: The Role of Public Health Programs in Drug User Health

By Mariah Johnson, Manager Viral Hepatitis/Policy & Legislative Affairs, NASTAD

Maximizing Health, Minimizing Harm: Drug User Health ToolkitIn February 2015, reports surfaced of an outbreak of new HIV cases in Scott County, Indiana. The initial 26 cases of HIV, first confirmed in December, were followed by more cases (now nearly 90 cases with the majority involving hepatitis C [HCV] co-infection). The cause was the injection of the prescription painkiller Opana. In an effort to combat the outbreak – the largest in the state’s history – Indiana Governor Mike Pence authorized an emergency 30 day needle exchange program in Scott County, administered by state health officials, which opened earlier this week. This was a major development from a Governor who has not supported this intervention in a state where needle exchange programs have long been outlawed. Yet in the face of an historic HIV (and HCV) outbreak, Governor Pence recognized the need for a public health approach guided by the evidence, just as numerous physicians, health departments, and countless community-based and national organizations have before him. Continue reading

Year in Review: Top Blog Series

By Michelle Allen, Senior Associate, Communications, NASTAD

As 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

Year in Review: Top 10 Health Department HIV Program Resources 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 our 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

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

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