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

Health Departments Accelerate Improvements in HIV Prevention and Care in the U.S.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 27, 2014
Contact: Meico Whitlock, 202-434-8094, www.NASTAD.org

Health Departments Accelerate Improvements in HIV Prevention and Care in the U.S.

Health Departments Innovate in the Face of Changing HIV Landscape

Raising the Bars: Policy AgendaRaising the Bars: ReportWashington, DC – To enhance the ability of health departments to reach the goals of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS), today the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD) released Raising the Bars: Accelerating HIV Prevention and Care in the United States and accompanying Raising the Bars: Policy Recommendations to Enhance Health Departments’ Efforts to End the HIV Epidemic. Continue reading

NASTAD Helps Strengthen Zambia’s National HIV/AIDS Strategic Framework

By Maybin Mumba, Monitoring and Evaluation Program Manager, NASTAD Zambia, and Anna Carroll, Associate, Global Program, NASTAD

Zambia has one of the most severe HIV epidemics in the world, with an estimated adult prevalence of 12.7%. Over one million people are living with HIV in Zambia today. Despite these stark figures, the country has made significant progress in combatting the disease. The national adult prevalence has decreased steadily since 2000, from 15.3% to the current 12.7%, and significant strides have been made in the prevention of new infections and the provision of anti-retroviral therapies. Continue reading