Region VIIRegion VII (Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska) held its second NHAS Summit in Kansas City, Missouri on May18, providing a forum for state health officials and representatives of local HIV service groups to have a candid discussion regarding implementation of the NHAS and specific ideas and issues related to efforts to improve HIV/AIDS prevention and care services. Dr. Kevin Fenton, Director of CDC’s National Centers for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention discussed how CDC is working at the national level and with state and local partners throughout the United States to advance the NHAS by pursuing a High-Impact Prevention approach. This approach seeks to consider not only program effectiveness but also the overall impact on the course of the epidemic. While combining effective prevention tools is essential, it is not enough, Dr. Fenton explained. To maximize reductions in new HIV infections, prevention strategies need to be combined in the smartest and most efficient ways possible for the populations and areas most affected by the epidemic. This means identifying and implementing the most cost-effective and scalable interventions in the geographic areas hardest hit by HIV and among the most severely affected populations within those areas.
State HIV/AIDS Directors from all four States each presented updates on current epidemiological data and offered their perspective on future opportunities and challenges. They shared their concerns about adjusting to new CDC prevention funding allocations to state health departments, which resulted in reductions to all four states. This reallocation of HIV prevention resources was undertaken by CDC to better match the geographic burden of the current U.S. epidemic. All participants agreed that enhanced collaboration and coordination among all parties – state and local health departments, AIDS service organizations, community-based organizations and other partners – will be key to navigating this new reality and maintaining the region’s relatively low HIV incidence. During the meeting, they identified opportunities to collaborate both locally and across the region.
Region IXIn Region IX, the RHA convened the Bay Area National HIV/AIDS Strategy Symposium on June 8 in San Francisco. More than 80 local health officials and community leaders as well as representatives of AIDS service organizations, community based organizations, and faith-based organizations from the San Francisco/Oakland Bay area participated. Dr. Grant Colfax, formerly the HIV Prevention Director in San Francisco and now the Director of the White House Office of National AIDS Policy, returned to his former home as the featured speaker at the Symposium. He discussed the considerable progress to date at the federal level in implementing the NHAS. Dr. Colfax reinforced that responsibility for implementing the NHAS doesn’t fall to the federal government alone; the efforts of regional, state, and community stakeholders are vitally important. Following Dr. Colfax, Ms. Vera Yakovchenko of the Office of HIV/AIDS and Infectious Disease Policy shared NHAS implementation progress highlights from the Department of Health and Human Services. Following those presentations, all the participants took part in a workshop to advance the conversation about what Symposium that will help better coordinate the regional response to HIV.
Common ThemesAt each of these three summits – and, indeed all six that have occurred recently – sizable and diverse groups of participants shared a commitment to advancing efforts to implement the Strategy and a desire to identify innovative methods and collaborations that will contribute to success in reducing new HIV infections, increasing access to care, optimizing healthier outcomes, and decreasing health disparities.
Watch for a second post from the Regional HIV/AIDS Resource Coordinators soon with highlights from the other three recent regional NHAS summits. In the meantime, for more information about these (or upcoming) regional summits or about the Regional HIV/AIDS Resource Network Program in your area, contact:
Regional Resource Coordinator
|Region I (CT, ME, MA, NH, RI, VT)|
|Region II (NJ, NY, PR, USVI)|
|Region III (DE, DC, MD, PA, VA, WV)|
|Region IV (AL, FL, GA, KY, MS, NC, SC, TN)|
|Region V (IL, IN, MI, MN, OH, WI)|
|Region VI (AR, LA, NM, OK, TX)|
|Region VII (IA, KS, MO, NE)|
|Region VIII (CO, MT, ND, SD, UT, WY)|
|Region IX (AZ, CA, HI, NV, and the Pacific Territories)|
|Region X (AK, ID, OR, WA)|