By Chris Taylor, Director, Viral Hepatitis, NASTAD
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.
By Tibebe Shenie, Country Director, NASTAD Ethiopia and Anne Sites, Senior Manager, Global Program, NASTAD
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).
By Emily McCloskey, Manager, Policy and Legislative Affairs
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Today, NASTAD released an infographic analyzing viral hepatitis funding. State health departments receive less than $1 dollar in federal funding for every person living with viral hepatitis for the Viral Hepatitis Prevention Coordinator (VHPC) program. The VHPC program is the only national program dedicated to the viral hepatitis epidemics and provides the only public health infrastructure for the prevention of viral hepatitis and linking individuals to care and treatment. In order to meet the goals established by the Viral Hepatitis Action Plan, the VHPC program must continue to be funded in all existing jurisdictions and increased resources are necessary to coordinate prevention efforts at the state and local levels. Continue reading
By Christopher Cannon, Manager, Health Care Access, NASTAD
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Prior to the approval of Truvada as PrEP, health departments feared there would be a rush of affluent gay men demanding access to Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP)-the use of antiretroviral medication to prevent the infection of HIV-to abandon condom use altogether. In so doing, they would create greater health disparities among vulnerable populations like young gay and bisexual men, Black and Latino gay and bisexual men, and transgender women who are often disenfranchised. However interest in PrEP outside of clinical trials across the country has been very limited. Gilead, manufacturer of Truvada, reports only 2,319 prescriptions filled for Truvada as PrEP from January 1, 2012 (prior to FDA approval in July 2012) to September 30, 2013 in the United States, which currently has an estimated 50,000 HIV infections each year. Continue reading
June 16, 2014 – This month, as part of on-going efforts to explore and address community- and institution-level stigma impacting Black and Latino gay men and MSM within public health practice, the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD) and the National Coalition of STD Directors (NCSD) are re-launching an updated survey assessment to continue efforts to monitor stigma in public health practice. Through support from the MAC AIDS Fund, NASTAD and NCSD conducted a three-year study of stigma and its impact on public health practice for Black and Latino gay men/MSM. This work included a national survey of more than 1,300 respondents; the convening of a Blue Ribbon Panel of stakeholders and medical providers; the publication of “Optimal Care Checklists” for providers and for Black and Latino gay male patients; and the convening of a National Stigma Summit on Black and Latino Gay Men’s Health. Continue reading