The Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA) held its 71st full council meeting virtually on August 3 and 4, 2021. Videos and slide presentations from that meeting are now available.
Among the issues the Council discussed were:
- Progress on the Ending the HIV Epidemic in the U.S. (EHE) initiative, including development of the 57 EHE jurisdictions’ innovative, locally-tailored plans, and next steps in implementation;
- PrEP access through publicly funded health care programs, access for those who are uninsured, and ongoing implementation barriers;
- Subcommittee reports;
- Future resolutions; and
- Public comments.
Assistant Secretary for Health Rachel Levine, MD, opened the meeing, reflecting on how much has changed since her HIV-related work early in her medical career, and emphasizing the importance of working closely with community stakeholders to implement the many effective HIV diagnosis, prevention, and treatment tools we now have available to end the HIV epidemic. She also discussed the need to take a holistic approach to the syndemic of HIV, viral hepatitis, STIs, and substance use and mental health disorders, and to better understand how the social determinants of health contribute to wide health inequities and HIV-related disparities.
Harold J. Phillips, Director of the White House Office of National AIDS Policy, also addressed the PACHA members and noted that the reconstitution of his office is a sign of the Biden-Harris Administration’s overall commitment to ending the HIV epidemic. He also discussed the work his office is leading to develop an updated National HIV/AIDS Strategy that will reflect administration priorities and emphasize not just a whole-of-government-approach, but a whole-of-society approach to end the HIV epidemic.
Mr. Phillips’ remarks provided a foundation for a thematic review of EHE jurisdictional plans by Demetre Daskalakis, MD, MPH, Director of CDC’s Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, as well as presentations from local government representatives and HIV community-based organizations about those plans and next steps for implementation.
The second day of the meeting featured a discussion of strategies to advance PrEP access through public programs, as well as policy, implementation, and cost barriers that remain. The Council also heard public comments from community stakeholders and partners. Members closed out the meeting with a brainstorming of potential future resolutions and a discussion of next steps.
New PACHA Co-Chair, New Members, and Term Reappointments
During the meeting, Dr. Levine administered the oath of office to Marlene McNeese, Assistant Director, Houston Health Department, to serve as the new PACHA co-chair alongside Dr. John Wiesman, as well as to eight new PACHA members:
- Guillermo Chacón, President, Latino Commission on AIDS and Founder, Hispanic Health Network
- Tori Cooper, Director of Community Engagement for the Transgender Justice Initiative, Human Rights Campaign
- Raniyah Copeland, MPH, Co-founder and Principal of Equity & Impact Solutions
- Leo Moore, MD, MSHPM, Medical Director for Clinic Services, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health
- Kayla Quimbey, National Youth HIV and AIDS Awareness Day Ambassador,
Advocates for Youth
- Adrian Shanker, Founder and Executive Director, Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center
- Darrell P. Wheeler, PhD, MPH, MSW, Provost and Sr. Vice President for Academic Affairs, Iona College
In addition, Dr. Levine swore in three members who were reappointed after the expiration of their terms:
- Greg Alton, JD
- Rafaelé Narváez
- Michael Saag, MD
Next PACHA Meeting in November 2021
The next full Council meeting will take place on Monday, November 15 and Wednesday, November 17 from 1-5 PM (ET). The meeting will be virtual and interested stakeholders can view the meeting via livestream at www.hhs.gov/live.
Watch the PACHA page on HIV.gov for the official meeting notice, the agenda, and additional information about this meeting.