Maintaining Focus on the HIV and STD Epidemics among Gay Men – A CONCEPT from the Louisiana Department of Health

By Isaiah Webster III, Senior Manager, Health Equity/Prevention

Louisiana Wellness Center ProjectBefore there was AIDS, there was GRID or “gay-related immune deficiency.” Given the mystery and hysteria of 1982, GRID seemed like an appropriate moniker for an immune system “plague” that seemed to mostly afflict gay men. However, scientists quickly realized that GRID wasn’t a “gay plague” at all; rather it was a social disease capable of afflicting almost anyone. GRID became known as AIDS, caused by a retrovirus known as HIV – the human immunodeficiency virus.  Continue reading

Mise en place d’un système intégré de surveillance pour la tuberculose et l’infection au VIH en Haïti

Ecrit par Dr Erlantz Hyppolite, Manager de recherche pour la NASTAD Haïti, et Anna Carroll, Associé, NASTAD Global Program

“Nous ne pouvons pas gagner la bataille contre le SIDA si nous ne combattons pas également la tuberculose.”

- Nelson Mandela, XVe Conférence internationale sur le SIDA, Bangkok, Thaïlande Continue reading

HIV Law Should Reflect Medicine’s Reality

By Randy Mayer, Chief, Bureau of HIV, STD, and Hepatitis, Iowa Department of Public Health

(Originally reported in The Des Moines Register)

Recent advances in HIV prevention and care have been nothing short of remarkable.  It appears we have finally turned a corner on the HIV epidemic.

Randy Mayer, Chief, Bureau of HIV, STD, and Hepatitis, Iowa Department of Public Health

Randy Mayer, Chief, Bureau of HIV, STD, and Hepatitis, Iowa Department of Public Health

Medications can now prevent HIV infection if taken before or after exposure.  Combinations of medications can nearly eliminate the ability of infected persons who strictly adhere to medication regimens to transmit the virus.

Testing soon after infection, promoting immediate treatment regardless of symptoms, and ensuring continued access to medications and adherence to treatment regimens help greatly decrease HIV transmission.  Public health programs help those newly diagnosed with HIV to notify and advise their partners to be tested. Continue reading

How Health Departments Are Accelerating Improvements in HIV Prevention and Care in the United States

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

Raising the Bars: ReportAs HIV/AIDS directors in state and territorial health departments, we are no strangers to the concept of strategic planning. Community engagement, consumer advisory, and evidence-based decision making are hallmarks of our approaches—as is the capacity for our systems to evolve and adapt in response to emerging trends and population needs. Our planning and program development methods have been soundly implemented and tested over years, in some cases over decades.

The infrastructure to deliver HIV/AIDS and viral hepatitis prevention and care services, while it may look and function differently across our individual jurisdictions, has been collaboratively designed to be maximally accessible, responsive, and effective in reaching local and national health promotion objectives. We have built a system that blends social welfare, medical care, and public health in an integrated services framework, and by all accounts we have been a success. Continue reading