One Year of HIV Case-based Surveillance in Guyana: Celebrating Successes and Recognizing Challenges

By Anna Carroll, Senior Associate, Global Program, NASTAD

Sunil and Homechand are both HIV Volunteer Counseling and Testing (VCT) counselors in the Berbice region of Guyana, one of the more developed and populated regions in the country. Despite major funding challenges in the region, Sunil and Homechand continue to demonstrate their commitment to combatting the epidemic and improving the health of the Berbice population, testing between 70 and 100 people each month for HIV.       Continue reading

ACA Turns Four: Recognizing Successes and Looking Ahead

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

Signing of the ACAMarch 23 marked the fourth anniversary of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). While it is undeniable that the ACA’s inaugural open enrollment period has had its share of challenges, it is important to recognize that the movement to ensure that all Americans have equitable access to health care transcends the technology failures of HealthCare.gov. Over the past four years, state HIV/AIDS programs have worked to adapt and innovate to meet needs of people living with HIV and co-occurring conditions in our evolving health care landscape. Through the use of innovative solutions (see Raising the Bars), support from colleagues and staff, and an enduring commitment to the broader public health imperative presented by HIV, state AIDS directors have leveraged the ACA to achieve remarkable results, including: Continue reading

Share Knowledge and Take Action: National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

By Michelle Allen, Associate, Policy and Legislative Affairs, NASTAD

National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day LogoToday, NASTAD joins in the observation of National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NWGHAAD) to recognize the impact of HIV on women and girls across the country. Since 2006, this day has been observed to raise awareness and encourage communities to take action in the fight against HIV/AIDS. The facts are clear, of the 50,000 adults and adolescents newly diagnosed with HIV in 2011, one in five was female. Among women, women of color account for nearly two-thirds of new AIDS diagnoses, and at some point in their lifetimes, 1 in 32 Black women and 1 in 106 Latinas will be diagnosed with HIV. Most of these women, roughly 86%, were infected with HIV by having condomless, heterosexual sex. Educating women, across all communities is an important piece of preventing further spread of the epidemic, and that makes this year’s theme, “Share Knowledge. Take Action,” that much more important. Continue reading

NASTAD Releases Key Findings of the 2014 National AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) Monitoring Project Annual Report

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

2014 National ADAP Monitoring Project Annual ReportToday, the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD) released key findings of the 2014 National ADAP Monitoring Project Annual Report. The National ADAP Monitoring Project is NASTAD’s long-standing effort to document new developments and challenges facing AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAPs), assessing key trends over time and providing the latest available data on the status of ADAPs. For the last 19 years, NASTAD has provided comprehensive analysis about ADAPs through The Report.

The Report provides an overview of the status of ADAPs as they prepared for full implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Continue reading

Young Black Gay Men: What Do We Need?

By Brandon Horsley-Thompson, Participant in the 2013 NASTAD Black Gay Men’s Technical Assistance Meeting

Brandon Horsely-ThompsonI came into the field of HIV prevention to make a difference in people’s lives. It’s been a long road full of deaths, fighting within the community, mismanagement, and numerous encounters with young Black gay men, who felt like their lives were not worth living. I recently attended NASTAD’s Black Gay Men’s Technical Assistance meeting, jam packed with information about the Affordable Care Act and enrollment, state based population specific HIV continuums of care for Texas and Tennessee, and new advancements in biomedical prevention – PrEP and home testing. The meeting put into context how all of these systems interplay with the health department and its constituents and provided strategies for working with Black gay men in this ever shifting landscape. However, at the beginning of the second day of the meeting, I was asked “What do you need as young Black gay man?” I sat silent for some time. What did I need? Emotionally? Mentally? Support systems? Was the facilitator talking about the collective “you,” as young Black gay men or me individually? I had never considered the question as I had gone about this work, and needless to say, I was stumped. I spoke from the heart. Continue reading