In recognition of National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day (NYHAAD) and National Public Health Week, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Office of Infectious Disease and HIV/AIDS Policy (OIDP) hosted a quarterly webinar focusing on the need to improve HIV education and care among youth, updates on the Ending the HIV Epidemic in the U.S. (EHE) initiative and shared engagement efforts from leaders in the community.
Special guests included the CDC’s Division of Adolescent and School Health and Advocates for Youth, a community-based organization located in Washington, DC. Federal representatives also shared updates from their respective agencies.
A few highlights:
CDC Division of Adolescent and School Health (DASH)
- The risk for HIV among adolescents is multifaceted. Sexual risk is declining but of the 37,832 new HIV diagnoses in the U.S. and dependent areas in 2018, 21% were among young people ages 13-24.
- Establishing and enhancing student-led inclusive clubs that support LGBTQ youth (i.e., Gay-Straight Alliance, or GSA, clubs) help reduce risks related to violence and mental health among students that identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual and their heterosexual peers.
- Additional Youth and School Health resources can be found on the CDC website.
Advocates for Youth
- One-on-one as well as community mentorship play a critical role in youth. The Medical Mentorship Toolkit is a guide created to support youth ages 13 to 24 with HIV.
- There are 5 promising practices to support young people with HIV to stay in care, including:
- Establish trust and connection
- Identify barriers to care
- Develop an action plan to address barriers
- Identify accountability and people to support youth linkage and retention in care
- Maintain open communication to encourage treatment and viral suppression
Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS (HOPWA)
- The FY18 National Performance Profile has been updated to include the latest available HOPWA Eligibility Estimate.
- The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announces a Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS (HOPWA) Competitive Grant: Housing as an Intervention to Fight AIDS. Click here for the announcement and containing further information and links: HOPWA Competitive Funding Opportunity.
- CDC will provide 100,000 self-tests to transgender women and racial/ethnic minorities in communities disproportionately affected by HIV in the US, particularly in areas currently funded by the EHE initiative to transgender women and racial/ethnic minorities in communities disproportionately affected by HIV in the US, particularly in areas currently funded by the EHE initiative.
- Local EHE community plans are now available on the CDC website.
Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) HIV/AIDS Bureau (HAB)
- HRSA has hosted the first three of eight Virtual Regional EHE Public Health Leader and Community Listening Sessions with leadership from HRSA HAB, HRSA’s Bureau of Primary Health Care, and CDC Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention and Office of Regional Operations (ORO) regions. A list of the upcoming virtual listening sessions is now available.
- HRSA HAB released a program letter in March 2021 to transition clients from EHE funding to Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program funding, including the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP).
HRSA Bureau of Primary Health Care (BPHC)
- In FY 2020, Primary Care HIV Prevention (PCHP) funding distributed $54 million to support 195 health centers to increase outreach, testing, care coordination, and HIV prevention services, including PrEP, in targeted counties/cities and states. In FY 2021, $48 million is committed to increasing the participation of health centers in EHE’s targeted geographic regions.
Indian Health Service (IHS)
- While new HIV infection rates have stabilized in the areas of the U.S. serviced by IHS, Native communities have seen a nearly 70% increase in new infections among young Native men who have sex with men (MSM).
- The Minority HIV/AIDS Fund supports IHS’s HIV programming and includes funding for the nationally focused “Project Red Talon” targeting Native youth.
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
- New EHE Funding Opportunities open this Summer:
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
- SAMHSA resources include Prevention and Treatment of HIV Among People Living with Substance Use and/or Mental Disorders Guidebook and the Addiction Technology Transfer Center (ATTC) Network.
OIDP General Highlights
- New HHS Leadership was recognized including Secretary Xavier Becerra, Assistant Secretary for Health Dr. Rachel Levine, and Surgeon General VADM Dr. Vivek Murthy.
- The HIV National Strategic Plan (HIV Plan) focuses on advances and new opportunities to address challenges that remain within HIV. The HIV Plan covers the entire country, has a broader focus across federal departments and agencies beyond HHS, and seeks to engage all sectors of society. EHE will become a leading component of the work by the Department of Health and Human Services to implement the broader HIV Plan.
- The STI National Strategic Plan is a roadmap detailing ways to address the concurrent epidemics of viral hepatitis, sexually transmitted infections, and substance use disorders.
- Health Literacy is now identified as one of the overarching goals of Healthy People 2030, a national science-based initiative that sets goals and objectives to improve the health and well-being of Americans.
- The Executive Order On Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government has been charged with a comprehensive approach to advancing ‘equity for all’, which states the “inclusion of people of color, LGBTQI+ persons, persons with disabilities and others who have been historically underserved, marginalized, and adversely affected by persistent poverty and inequality.”
- New data has been released on America’s HIV Epidemic Analysis Dashboard (AHEAD). It has updated features and EHE geographic area indicators can be viewed side-by-side to show a more complete picture.
Stay tuned to watch the Harold Weekly FYI series for new weekly updates on EHE and related HIV news on @HIV.gov on Twitter. Anyone can view them; no account needed.