Improving Drug User Health through Health Department HIV Prevention Programs

By Erin McElderry, Associate, Prevention, NASTAD

New HIV Infections by Transmission Category, 1980 – 2010*

New HIV Infections by Transmission Category, 1980 – 2010*

In many ways, HIV prevention among people who inject drugs (PWID) has been a success story. Rates of new infections among PWID have declined dramatically since the beginning of the epidemic, due in part to the success of syringe services programs (SSPs) in preventing new HIV infections. However, this work is far from done. In 2010, PWID represented 8% of new HIV infections. The U.S. has also seen rising rates of young people addicted to prescription opioids transitioning to injection drug use.  Continue reading

Raising the Bars: Health Departments Use Data to Care Strategies to Improve Outcomes along the HIV Care Continuum

By Bryan Collins, CAPUS Coordinator, Virginia Department of Health; Melissa Morrison Webb, Director of HIV Prevention, Tennessee Department of Health; and Todd Harvey, Senior Manager, Prevention, NASTAD

Raising the Bars

Raising the Bars Report

To achieve the goals of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy and to implement the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s High Impact Prevention, state health department HIV prevention and surveillance programs are taking action towards raising the bars along the HIV care continuum. To do this, they are increasingly using HIV prevention activities to enhance effectiveness via collaboration and integration with their HIV surveillance efforts. In NASTAD’s 2013-2014 National HIV Prevention Inventory, we found that approximately 86% of HIV prevention programs reported collaborating with HIV surveillance programs by actively sharing decision-making, planning efforts and resources to achieve common goals. This indicator rose from 74% reported in our 2009 National HIV Prevention Inventory. Continue reading

Open Enrollment 2015: Are You Ready?

By Xavior Robinson, Senior Manager, Health Care Access, NASTAD

Open Enrollment 2015The Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) second open enrollment period is just around the corner. On November 15th, millions of people will have the opportunity to apply for a Qualified Health Plan (QHP) for the first time, renew their existing coverage, select a new plan, or be directed to apply for Medicaid. For state HIV/AIDS and viral hepatitis programs, open enrollment presents an opportunity to build upon the more than 25,000 AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) clients that were transitioned to health insurance coverage during the first open enrollment. In the time since the inaugural open enrollment period ended, programs have been preparing for November 15th by partnering with community-based organizations to expand outreach and enrollment capabilities, refining insurance purchasing processes to assist clients with premiums and co-pays, and working with clients to maintain access to insurance coverage. As programs prepare for open enrollment, keep in mind the following priorities and action steps.

Continue reading

Raising the Bars: Monitoring and Using Community-level HIV Data to Raise the Bars

By Lucy Slater, Director, Global Program, NASTAD

RTB Post #7 GraphicNASTAD’s Global Program builds the organizational, programmatic and human resource capacity of regional/state public sector HIV program counterparts around the world.

The HIV Care Continuum can help to identify needs and measure progress toward stronger outcomes in achieving an AIDS-free generation. NASTAD’s work strengthens the HIV Care Continuum through strong partnerships and by providing targeted training, technical assistance and supportive supervision. The previous blog posts describing how we are “Raising the Bars” can be found below: Continue reading

No More Silos – PrEP is One Component of Gay Men’s Sexual Health: A Health Department Approach to PrEP

By Barry Callis, Director of Behavioral Health and Infectious Disease Prevention, Office of HIV/AIDS, Bureau of Infectious Disease and Dawn Fukuda, Director, Office of HIV/AIDS, Bureau of Infectious Disease, Massachusetts Department of Public Health

Barry Callis and Dawn Fukuda

Barry Callis and Dawn Fukuda

Many of us in the Office of HIV/AIDS at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) were huddled excitedly around our computer screens when the first reports of success from the iPrEx clinical trial were released. It was December of 2010, and at long last, we had confirmed proof that an antiviral medicine (Truvada) could protect against HIV infection before exposure, and that it worked for gay and bisexual men and transgender women. It was a possibility we had only dreamed of in the early 1990’s, when effective antiretrovirals were first widely available as treatment. Continue reading