Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Sign on to Keep the Momentum of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy

We invite your organization to endorse the sign on statement below. One year into the National HIV/AIDS Strategy, the statement reaffirms support for the goals of the Strategy and lays out some principles we think are important to success. If your organization would like to endorse this statement, please contact Kate at kate.goertzen@amfar.org

Keep the Momentum of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy

The National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS) has become a catalyst for progressive change that has already begun to improve the United States' approach to ending our HIV epidemic. We strongly support NHAS goals to lower the rate of new HIV infections, improve access to care and care outcomes, and reduce health disparities in the epidemic. People across the country are responding to the Strategy's vision of a more effective, equitable and outcomes-oriented response to AIDS.

Achieving the NHAS goals will require that all of us take a fresh look at how resources are allocated and the kinds of services supported, and make difficult decisions about future efforts. It will take concerted action by federal, state, and local government, health care providers, community organizations, the private sector, and people living with and affected by HIV. We must develop a response to AIDS that does better at addressing the challenges where they are most acute, but that also improves outcomes for every group affected by the epidemic no matter where they reside.

We are at a pivotal moment in tackling the domestic epidemic. New research demonstrating the HIV prevention impact of AIDS treatment provides additional reasons to coordinate services and bring to scale our efforts, and emboldens our belief that we can achieve dramatic progress against the epidemic.

To take advantage of this opportunity, and to sustain the momentum in achieving NHAS goals, the following principles are essential:

· Increased resources are needed, and we also must do better to ensure that current resources are used for maximum impact.

· All those who need AIDS treatment must have access. The AIDS Drug Assistance Program must be fully funded.

· Federal agencies need to become more outcomes-oriented and reduce the burden on local and state agencies by streamlining reporting requirements and funding streams, and demonstrating true cross-agency collaboration.

· A new model of integrated service provision is critical to success, emphasizing the connections between testing, prevention, linkage to care and treatment, and seeking community-level results and measurable outcomes. This model must include addressing unmet needs for housing and substance abuse and mental health services.

· Tools for evidence-based decision making, such as economic modeling and creative use of surveillance data that maintains confidentiality can increase the impact of our efforts.

· The "12 Cities" initiative can improve outcomes in epicenters, be a driver of health services reform, and develop adaptable models to be used elsewhere, but success requires ongoing funding, and increased coordination and accountability at the local, state and federal levels. Additional attention is also needed in areas outside of these 12 cities, including those experiencing alarming growth in HIV incidence.

· The NHAS is strengthened by authentic community engagement, and this engagement requires transparency about 12 Cities and other local and state strategies and plans.

· Recipients of federal funds must be held accountable for dedicating resources to geographic areas and communities according to their epidemic profile.

· Health departments, community organizations, and private providers need advanced levels of technical support to transition to integrated models of prevention and care service provision and community-level interventions.

We ask federal agencies to embrace and take action consistent with the principles above. We also know that the success of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy depends on all of us. Policy makers, people on the front lines, and everyone engaged, must work together, reassess how we can have the greatest impact, and rededicate ourselves toending AIDS in America.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Is there a vaccine for HIV? No, but there could be with your help...

As a NHVREI Network member, we understand the critical role that HIV vaccine development plays in reducing the spread of the epidemic and to ultimately prevent new infections. Our work, as our name suggests, is focused on the community-wide response to the epidemic and we understand, and public health history has shown, that a vaccine will likely be the most powerful tool to use against the spread of the virus. We hope to increase our community’s literacy and exposure to HIV vaccine research through updating our current literature on the topic.

Download the pocket sized vaccine brochure HERE