HIV.gov continued sharing updates via Facebook Live from the 2017 U.S. Conference on AIDS (USCA) in Washington, DC, on Friday, September 8, 2017.
Messages About Viral Suppression and HIV Transmission Risk
Recent conclusive and consistent findings from clinical trials about the effects of HIV treatment and viral suppression on the sexual transmission of HIV are a game changer for HIV prevention, care, and treatment programs as well as for how people living with HIV see themselves and how they are seen by others. Dr. Rich Wolitski, Director of the Office of HIV/AIDS and Infectious Disease Policy at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, discussed the findings with several HIV-positive colleagues and friends including Gina Brown from the Southern AIDS Coalition; Jesse Milan, President and CEO of AIDS United; Murray Penner, Executive Director of NASTAD; and Bruce Richman, Founder of the Prevention Access Campaign. During their conversation, they discussed how these findings are influencing their work as well as their lives and they envisioned the future impact of treatment as prevention. Rich also highlighted a process underway across several HHS agencies to come to agreement on common, clear, and consistent message concepts on this topic. (In a related development, CDC posted an announcement to their HIV homepage today about efforts underway to update HIV treatment and viral suppression messages.)
Leveraging Social Media in the HIV Response
We also shared a conversation among some digital innovators about how social media can help strengthen and advance HIV services. HIV.gov Director Miguel Gomez spoke with our own social media advisor Aisha Moore, our former colleague Michelle Samplin-Salgado, and community leader Sally Cherry. They discussed how digital media and tools are constantly changing and that to be ready to make best use of them organizations need to devote time and attention to this space. Our panel of digital media leaders also encouraged organizations to invest in long term planning to effectively extend the reach of our HIV programs.
Our last conversation was about the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA), which provides advice, information, and recommendations to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services regarding federal programs, policies, and research to promote effective treatment, prevention, and cure of HIV/AIDS. PACHA’s Executive Director and Dr. Patrick Sullivan of the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University, a member of PACHA, discussed the Council’s work and its most recent meeting.
The annual conference convened by NMAC, formerly the National Minority AIDS Council, has gathered over 3,000 community leaders and HIV advocates to learn the latest information and build skills to provide effective HIV prevention and treatment services across the nation. We will continue to share updates from the conference tomorrow. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter details.