Last week, the Office of National AIDS Policy (ONAP) convened the National HIV/AIDS Strategy Federal Implementation Workgroup (NHAS FIW) to launch the process to begin development of the NHAS Federal Implementation Plan (NHAS FIP). I have asked the HHS Office of Infectious Disease and HIV/AIDS Policy (OIDP) to assist ONAP in this effort. I am tremendously pleased to have such a large and diverse group of federal departments and agencies involved in ensuring that the NHAS is truly a coordinated nationwide effort to end the HIV epidemic in the U.S. The NHAS FIP, along with the annual progress report, will become key components demonstrating our progress toward achieving our collective goals.
The departments and agencies involved in contributing to the NHAS FIP are now busy developing action steps for the 21 objectives and 78 strategies included in the NHAS. During the first meeting, I asked the agencies to explore cross-agency, collaborative actions to maximize impact and resources moving forward. I also encouraged the federal agencies to consider ideas from their community partners and other stakeholders as they develop their action steps. Many comments and recommendations were received from community stakeholders during the development of the NHAS, and those have been relayed to members of the NHAS FIW for consideration during their development of action items for the NHAS FIP.
ONAP also recently convened a NHAS FIW subgroup co-chaired by CDC and HRSA to begin work on creating the developmental indicator on quality of life for people with HIV. The NHAS called for this, noting, “quality of life for people with HIV was designed as the subject for a developmental indicator, meaning that data sources, measures, and targets will be identified, and progress monitored thereafter.”
While the federal partners are developing their action steps to implement the NHAS, I strongly encourage stakeholders in communities across the nation to reflect on what you can do — individually, in your organization, as a community — to implement the NHAS. The Strategy is a national one, not just a federal one. So robust action by stakeholders from across the nation will be vital to achieving its goals.
I look forward to continuing to work with OIDP, federal agencies, and the community to engage in meaningful activities to implement the NHAS. Now that we have released the National HIV/AIDS Strategy reflecting our collaborative work to identify what needs to be done to achieve our national goal of ending the HIV epidemic, the focus of our work together shifts to mapping out how to get that work done. This requires thoughtful planning and innovation within and across federal agencies and community stakeholders. We all need to work together based on President Biden’s charge to re-energize, accelerate, and strengthen a whole-of-society response to the HIV epidemic. I will continue to provide updates on HIV.gov and in other venues.