The Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA), like the rest of us, has had to adapt as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and find new ways to continue its important work. The Council, which typically convenes in-person, recently held two virtual meetings and welcomed two new members.
PACHA held its 67th meeting virtually on June 1 and 2, 2020. Among the issues they explored were:
- The impact of COVID-19 on the HIV response, including the personal experiences of several PACHA members;
- The latest developments on the Ending the HIV Epidemic initiative and the Federal responses to prevention and care access challenges resulting from COVID-19; and
- Perspectives and lessons learned on HIV and COVID-19 from PEPFAR.
As a follow-up to that meeting, the Council convened the 68th meeting on August 6, 2020, during which PACHA members discussed and unanimously voted in favor of three resolutions for the Department of Health and Human Services’ review and consideration:
- Resolution on the Impact of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) on HIV Prevention and Treatment (PDF, 338 KB)
- Recommendations to Increase Uptake in the Ready, Set, PrEP Program (PDF, 285 KB)
- Resolution on Section 1557 Healthcare Non-Discrimination Regulation (PDF, 256 KB)
“It is no secret that we are living in unprecedented times – the novel coronavirus (COVID 19) has caused a public health crisis globally while simultaneously shining a light on national health disparities that some of us knew existed through our HIV work. So while we are collectively working double duty to address new and existing challenges, we are reminded that the HIV epidemic remains critical and our work must continue to achieve the goals outlined in the Ending the HIV Epidemic: A Plan for America,” remarked Kaye Hayes, MPA, Principal Deputy Director of the HHS Office of Infectious Disease and HIV/AIDS Policy and Executive Director of PACHA. We are gratefulto PACHA leadership and members, federal partners, and external stakeholders for your unwavering dedication during these historic times.”
PACHA Welcomes Two New Members
During the June and August virtual meetings, two new PACHA members were sworn-in by ADM Brett P. Giroir, MD, Assistant Secretary for Health:
- Alicia Diggs, MPH, Medical Case Manager, Positive Wellness Alliance in Lexington, North Carolina
- Laura Platero, JD, Executive Director Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board in Portland, Oregon
To learn more about the new PACHA members, please visit: https://www.hiv.gov/federal-response/pacha/members-staff.