HIV Case-based Surveillance in Haiti: Partnering for an Effective and Successful Response to the HIV Epidemic

By Edna Pierre, National HIV Surveillance Coordinator, NASTAD Haiti

Edna Photo

Edna Pierre, National HIV Surveillance Coordinator, NASTAD Haiti

Early in the national response to the HIV epidemic, the Haitian Ministry of Health (MSPP) prioritized the development of strategic information systems and identified NASTAD Haiti as a key partner with the technical expertise to implement a national HIV/AIDS case based surveillance system (HASS). NASTAD Haiti has supported this collaborative, national effort since 2003. Case based surveillance (CBS) data in Haiti are critical in monitoring the trends of the HIV epidemic, characterizing affected populations, identifying needs and gaps in testing, prevention, treatment and care services, and guiding resource allocation to areas of need across the HIV Continuum of Care.

Continue reading

Maximizing Health, Minimizing Harm: The Role of Public Health Programs in Drug User Health

By Mariah Johnson, Manager Viral Hepatitis/Policy & Legislative Affairs, NASTAD

Maximizing Health, Minimizing Harm: Drug User Health ToolkitIn February 2015, reports surfaced of an outbreak of new HIV cases in Scott County, Indiana. The initial 26 cases of HIV, first confirmed in December, were followed by more cases (now nearly 90 cases with the majority involving hepatitis C [HCV] co-infection). The cause was the injection of the prescription painkiller Opana. In an effort to combat the outbreak – the largest in the state’s history – Indiana Governor Mike Pence authorized an emergency 30 day needle exchange program in Scott County, administered by state health officials, which opened earlier this week. This was a major development from a Governor who has not supported this intervention in a state where needle exchange programs have long been outlawed. Yet in the face of an historic HIV (and HCV) outbreak, Governor Pence recognized the need for a public health approach guided by the evidence, just as numerous physicians, health departments, and countless community-based and national organizations have before him. Continue reading

NASTAD Haiti Participates in ‘Innovations in Global Maternal and Child Health’ Symposium at University of Florida

By Dr. Nadjy Joseph, SAFE Project Coordinator, NASTAD Haiti

December 2015 will mark the end of the current United Nations Millennium Development Goals, which range from halving extreme poverty rates to halting the spread of HIV/AIDS to providing universal primary education.  Governments and civil society organizations are racing to continue to work towards fulfilling those goals, and are compiling reports and publications to demonstrate progress and gaps.

Nadjy Jospeh NASTAD

Dr. Nadjy Joseph speaking with symposium attendees about enhanced perinatal HIV case-based surveillance (SAFE) in Haiti.

In this context, the University of Florida convened its first annual Innovations in Global Health Symposium, with this inaugural year focused on maternal and child health. The aim of the symposium was to convene leading experts alongside University of Florida faculty and students to learn and teach innovative initiatives in global maternal and child health. Many themes were discussed during the two-day symposium, including health systems and policy, human rights and health, technology and climate change, and food security and nutrition. Continue reading

Celebrating 10 Years of Public Health System Strengthening in Zambia

By Lucy Slater, Director, Global Program

Like all organizations, NASTAD Global goes through cycles – cycles of staffing, cycles of scopes of work, and cycles of funding. In 2015, we approach a convergence of these cycles, and as some new opportunities are emerging, we are also finding that some existing work must end. As of March 31, 2015, the outcomes of NASTAD Global’s HIV health systems strengthening assistance for national government partners in Zambia will have been integrated into government structures and we will close the doors to our Zambia office.

Continue reading

Increasing Access to Treatment for HIV and Hepatitis via Patient Assistance Programs and Cost-Sharing Assistance Programs

By Amanda Bowes, Associate, Health Care Access and Viral Hepatitis, NASTAD

Patient Assistance ProgramsThe treatment landscape for both HIV and hepatitis C (HCV) is evolving in exciting and dramatic ways. This excitement is often curbed, however, by high priced drugs and/or restrictive insurance practices that impacted populations face in accessing health care services.  Continue reading