Improving HIV diagnosis, care and prevention for Black women, updates on the Ending the HIV Epidemic: A Plan for America (EHE) initiative and fielding questions from the community were just some of the topics covered in the recent quarterly stakeholder webinar hosted by the Office of Infectious Disease and HIV/AIDS Policy (OIDP) on January 27.
A few highlights:
Black Women & HIV: Guest Speaker Dr. Dawn K. Smith, an Epidemiologist at the CDC’s National Center for HIV, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention outlined key efforts needed for Black women to help end the HIV epidemic and provided various statistics including diagnoses rates, death rates, and PrEP prescription rates. Guest Speaker Dr. Bisola Ojikutu, infectious disease specialist and Associate Physician within the Division of Global Health Equity at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, spoke on the challenges regarding PrEP uptake among Black women at the patient, provider, and structural levels. Dr. Ojikutu also discussed HIV care and treatment challenges that Black women face along with future research needs.
HIV National Strategic Plan (HIV Plan): The HIV Plan builds on the lessons learned and progress made over the last decade under the nation’s first two National HIV/AIDS Strategies. This new five-year plan leverages recent advances and new opportunities to address the remaining challenges by providing a roadmap for stakeholders to continue strengthening our coordination efforts together to end the HIV epidemic in the United States by 2030.
America’s HIV Epidemic Analysis Dashboard (AHEAD): The AHEAD dashboard is being enhanced with interactive functionality, allowing users to view HIV indicator data filtered by location, indicators, and demographics. Users will also be able to compare locations on a county-by-county basis, download data in three different formats- all of the data, parts of the data, and/or the data graph.
Ready, Set, PrEP: Ready, Set, PrEP participants can now use the enrollment website or call center to have their PrEP medication filled by participating pharmacies or by mail order. This enhancement allows potential program participants to have federally funded health centers, as well as Indian Health Service, tribal, or urban Indian health programs coordinate prescription mail order in addition to conducting the labs, HIV and STI tests and PrEP navigation services. Mail order fulfillment through the website and call center expands program support beyond the already more than 32,000 co-sponsoring pharmacies. Once you have a prescription, visit GetYourPrEP.com or call toll-free (855) 447-8410 to qualify and enroll; to learn more about PrEP and Ready, Set, PrEP, visit HIV.gov/PrEP.
HOPWA: The Director of the Office of HIV/AIDS Housing at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Rita Harcrow, provided an overview of the Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS (HOPWA) Resource Tool and highlighted upcoming plans for 2021. The upcoming plans included annual updates to the Resource Tool, new versions being launched in Spring 2021 and continued coordinated efforts among HHS and other federal partners funded through EHE.
CDC: The new CDC’s Director of the Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention (DHAP) in the National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention (NCHHSTP), Dr. Demetre Daskalakis, introduced himself. The revised EHE jurisdictional plans have been received and CDC is conducting a review of the plans. These plans will be posted online by their respective geographic areas. The HIV Self-Testing contract has been awarded and the program should be fully operational to distribute 100,000 self-test kits by National HIV testing day in June. CDC recently published an HIV Criminalization commentary which was published in Lancet HIV to highlight the importance of modernizing laws across the nation.
HRSA HAB: HRSA’s HIV/AIDS Bureau (HAB) 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. Dr. Cheever also shared COVID-19 lessons to accelerate the EHE response. Additionally, she provided January - March 2021 HRSA HAB EHE updates.
HRSA BPHC: HRSA’s Bureau of Primary Health Care Associate Administrator, Jim Macrae, outlined the health centers’ response to COVID-19 in which they have provided over 7.6 million COVID-19 tests as of January 1, 2021. Mr. Macrae also presented a health center update on PrEP programming and provided key HIV prevention, testing and treatment data gathered from the past few years. He also discussed the increase in PrEP implementation in health centers which led to more HIV diagnoses and an increase in PrEP prescriptions.
IHS: Indian Health Services’ Chief Medical Officer, RADM Dr. Michael Toedt provided an HIV surveillance update on American Indians & Alaskan Natives in the U.S. Other IHS updates included: publishing of the HIV Primary Care Treatment Guidelines for Adults and Adolescents, IHS area-wide and service unit-specific HIV/HCV report cards, Talking is Power campaign, trans & gender-affirming care (ECHO), and the COVID-19 Impact Survey.
NIH: National Institutes of Health Basic Science Program Associate Director of the Division of AIDS, Ann Namkung Lee provided updates on NIH Centers for AIDS Research (CFARs) and NIMH AIDS Research Centers (ARCs). She also highlighted the different pillars addressed by EHE CFAR/ARC planning projects along with EHE implementation science support. Lastly, she spoke about the different implementation science hubs across America. The hubs are responsible for providing coordination of metrics to support NIH’s role and EHE.
SAMHSA: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Jim Gandotra outlined the Guidebook for Prevention and Treatment of HIV Among People Living With Substance Use and/or Mental Disorders. He also discussed the new grants that were awarded by SAMHSA.
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.
Please visit HIV.gov, in the Events section, you will find pages for upcoming HIV Awareness Day observances with resources specific to each observance.
Follow the HIV.gov blog for details on the next EHE Quarterly Stakeholder webinar!
- African Americans
- CDCCenters for Disease Control & Prevention
- Ending HIVEnding HIV Epidemic
- HHSDepartment of Health & Human Services
- HOPWAHousing Opportunities for People with HIV Program
- HRSAHealth Resources & Service Administration
- IHSIndian Health Service
- NIHNational Institutes of Health
- OIDPOffice of Infectious Disease and HIV/AIDS Policy
- SAMHSASubstance Abuse & Mental Health Services Admininistration