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

The HIV Care Continuum Initiative: The Next Step of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy

By Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services and Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to the President

Cross-posted from AIDS.gov

Secretary Sebelius and Valerie Jarrett

Three years ago, President Obama announced an historic comprehensive plan to help turn the tide on HIV/AIDS in the United States: the National HIV/AIDS Strategy. The Strategy has given a new sense of direction, and purpose in our fight against HIV and AIDS.

Since the Strategy’s release, scientific developments have advanced our understanding of how to best fight HIV. We now understand that to prevent long-term complications of HIV, treatment is recommended for all adults and adolescents living with HIV in the United States. Continue reading

Secretary Sebelius Approves Plans to Standardize and Streamline Data Collection for HHS HIV Grantees

By Andrew D. Forsyth, Ph.D., Senior Science Advisor, Office of HIV/AIDS and Infectious Disease Policy, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and 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 

National HIV/AIDS Strategy

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently reached a significant
milestone in our ongoing efforts to standardize and streamline data collection for recipients of federal HIV funds. On June 28, 2013, Secretary of Health and Human Kathleen Sebelius approved plans submitted by nine HHS operating divisions and staff offices to adopt and deploy common core indicators for monitoring HHS-funded HIV prevention, treatment, and care services and to streamline data collection for HIV services grantees. This approval was the outcome of two years of cross-agency work to respond to the National HIV/AIDS Strategy’s call to standardize data collection and reduce grantee reporting requirements.  The Secretary’s approval of these plans paves the way for their implementation in Fiscal Year 2014, beginning on October 1, 2013.  This first step to reduce grantee reporting burden will enable HIV grantees to focus more time and attention on providing high quality HIV prevention, treatment, and care services. Continue reading

Improving Health Equity for Gay Men through the Affordable Care Act

By Amy Killelea, Senior Manager, Health Care Access, NASTAD

Health Equity for Gay Men/MSM

HIV/AIDS disproportionately impacts gay men and other men who have sex with men (MSM), particularly gay men/MSM of color, in the form of higher infection rates, less likelihood of timely linkage to care, and less likelihood of viral suppression. To make headway against the epidemic and to meet the goals of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS), we need tools and strategies that are aimed at improving prevention, access to care, and retention in care for gay men/MSM.

Continue reading

Action Alert: Urge Congress to Fully Fund Domestic HIV/AIDS and Viral Hepatitis Programs

By Emily McCloskey, Manager, Policy and Legislative Affairs, NASTAD

Action: Contact your Senators to ask them to fully fund domestic HIV/AIDS and viral hepatitis programs

NHTD 2013 Call In DayThe Senate Appropriations Committee is expected to vote on the bill that funds domestic HIV/AIDS and viral hepatitis programs the week of July 7. The National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD) and the larger HIV community are leading a call in day on June 27 to ask the Senate to help prevent further cuts and to fully fund domestic HIV/AIDS and viral hepatitis prevention, care, treatment, and research programs. Calls on this issue to individual offices can make a difference. Please send the action alert to your networks and communities. If possible, NASTAD also asks you to reach out to your Senators on June 27, National HIV Testing Day (NTHD), and let them know the importance of HIV and viral hepatitis programs. Continue reading