On October 29th, the HHS Office of Infectious Disease and HIV/AIDS Policy hosted a quarterly stakeholder webinar on efforts to implement the Ending the HIV Epidemic: A Plan for America (EHE) initiative.
The webinar was designed to:
-Provide updates on major federal activities related to the implementation of the Ending the HIV Epidemic initiative
-Highlight models of community engagement during COVID-19
-Answer questions from jurisdictional EHE stakeholders
A few highlights:
AHEAD Dashboard: OIDP and CDC have been working hand in hand to prioritize HIV data expediency and transparency. Additional data was made available on the dashboard including:
- Preliminary 2020 cumulative quarterly data from January 2020 through June 2020 for diagnoses.
- Preliminary 2020 cumulative quarterly data from January 2020 through March 2020 for linkage to HIV medical care
Ready, Set, PrEP: The program is launching the “I’m Ready” campaign featuring diverse stories of real people from a wide variety of backgrounds, who share their personal journey with PrEP. Ready, Set, PrEP is a nationwide program to increase access to free PrEP medications for individuals without prescription drug coverage.. More than 32,000 co-sponsoring pharmacies have come on board to support the program and mail order fulfillment is slated to begin by the end of the year.
CDC: The CDC awarded $109 million to accelerate progress in the fight to end the HIV epidemic in the U.S. Community engagement continues to be a priority for CDC and EHE. Although engagement will have to remain virtual and socially distant due to the COVID-19
pandemic, the commitment to community engagement remains in place.
HRSA HAB: HRSA’s HIV/AIDS Bureau Associate Administrator Dr. Laura Cheever discussed lessons learned from community engagement activities in 2019-2020 and shared upcoming plans for virtual community engagement in 2021. She also shared COVID-19 lessons to accelerate the EHE response.
Georgia Department of Public Health: Michelle Allen & Rev. William Francis discussed partnerships with faith-based organizations in the state of Georgia. Faith-Based Coalitions are encouraged to be inclusive and diverse (i.e. religious freedom; gender, LGBTQ+; race & ethnicity, etc.). In observance of National Faith HIV & AIDS Awareness Day, AFIA was established as an inter-faith council with representation from all EHE metro counties.
Tarrant County Public Health: Lonnetta Wilson, EHE Coordinator discussed the pre-planning and execution of the Tarrant County HIV taskforce. She shared how the team adapted during COVID -19 to include virtual meetings, intentionally incorporate more community members, and utilize virtual platforms to communicate.
PAETC-NV: Jennifer Bennett, PhD, MPH discussed HRSA’s AETC program and best practices for community engagement for the Clark County Ending the HIV Epidemic Plan. Key strategies included a statewide EHE group that now hosts monthly virtual meetings. The group has amassed 60+ members representing over 30 organizations from state HIV offices, clinics, social services, educational groups, and more. The team also facilitated a series of provider and community member focus groups and surveys to conduct the EHE needs assessment.
I encourage all of you to watch my new weekly EHE updates on @HIV.gov on Twitter. Anyone can view them; no account needed. My goal is to quickly provide updates on the EHE initiative and related HIV news.
Follow the HIV.gov blog for details on the next EHE Quarterly Stakeholder webinar!