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  #1  
Old June 7th, 2011
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Default Misc. HIV/AIDS government pronouncements & stuff.

A thread for posting "official" U.S. (& other) government pronouncements on HIV/AIDS which are not immediately applicable to the topic of circumcision, but could later provide useful lines of argument, sound bites, and background on circumcision-as-AIDS-preventative proponents.

http://blog.aids.gov/2011/06/champio...og.AIDS.gov%29

Quote:
Champions of Change: HIV/AIDS – 30 Years of Activism on the Frontlines

By Brian Bond, Deputy Director of Public Liason (Cross-posted from The White House Blog)

Ed. Note: Champions of Change is a weekly initiative to highlight Americans who are making an impact in their communities and helping our country rise to meet the many challenges of the 21st century.

This month marks the 30th year of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, when the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported the first case of which would become known as HIV/AIDS. More than 50,000 people in the United States are infected with HIV annually, and today, more than 33 million people around the world are living with HIV. Two million people across the globe die every year from AIDS. Over 600,000, fathers, mothers, daughters, sons, aunts and uncles in this country have died due to this pandemic. Like others marking this milestone, some of the people who have been lost over the past 30 years are individuals that I had the privilege of calling my friends.

There have been many positive efforts in combating this devastating disease, but more work needs to be done. Last year, the President announced the first comprehensive National HIV/AIDS Strategy for the United States. This strategy focuses on combinations of evidence-based approaches to decrease new HIV infections in high risk communities, improve care for people living with HIV/AIDS, and reduce health disparities. Also, the Administration increased domestic HIV/AIDS funding to support the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program and HIV prevention, and to invest in HIV/AIDS-related research.

But as the President has said, “government cannot take on this disease alone.” That is why, as part of the Champions of Change initiative, the White House invited nine inspiring HIV/AIDS advocates for a roundtable discussion to meet with Administration officials including Office of National AIDS Policy (ONAP) Director Jeffrey Crowley, the HHS Assistant Secretary for Health, Dr. Howard Koh, and key staff from HHS, DOJ and HUD. The roundtable was intended to provide an opportunity for people living with HIV to reflect on their own lives and personal experiences as the Nation reflects on what has been achieved over the last three decades. It is also an opportunity for us to continue shining a light on this pandemic.

As someone living with HIV, this is very personal for me. We stand on the shoulders of many that are now gone, and those who continue to fight today. The “Champions” that we met with are living examples of both the progress and challenges we have faced over the past 30 years. We are making progress—the number of new infections has declined among infants born with HIV and injection drug users, but we are now seeing rising infections in gay and bisexual men. Re-engaging the public, particularly the LGBT community, in prevention education and fighting stigma is crucial.

This anniversary is an opportunity to recommit ourselves to raising awareness about HIV/AIDS. We owe it to those that are no longer with us, and those like these “Champions” and the thousands like them that are fighting every day. We also owe it to the next generation. We invite you to learn more about the work of these Champions of Change in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

Brian Bond is Deputy Director of the Office of Public Engagement.

Posted in: HIV Policy & Programs, HIV/AIDS Awareness Days, LGBTQ Health, National HIV/AIDS Strategy, People Living With HIV
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Old June 7th, 2011
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Default Re: Misc. HIV/AIDS government pronouncements & stuff.

http://blogs.state.gov/index.php/sit...ry_of_hiv_aids

Quote:
Secretary Clinton Marks the 30th Anniversary of HIV/AIDS

Posted by DipNote Bloggers / June 05, 2011

Today, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton marked the 30th anniversary of HIV/AIDS, releasing the following statement:

"As we commemorate the 30th Anniversary of the first reported cases of HIV/AIDS in the United States, we take time to remember those who have been affected by this devastating disease and recommit ourselves to eradicating this terrible scourge.

"When HIV/AIDS was first identified in the 1980s, the world was shocked by how fast the epidemic spread as we struggled to find a solution. With the remarkable work of researchers over the past decades, we have made incredible gains in the prevention and treatment of HIV. The United States and the international community stood up and took on this terrible scourge. Thanks to these efforts, millions of lives have been saved and millions more have been transformed.

"The U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and President Obama's Global Health Initiative (GHI) underscore America's commitment to this partnership to strengthen health systems and save lives. Currently, PEPFAR supports treatment for over 3.2 million people -- the vast majority of whom live in Africa. In 2010, PEPFAR directly supported access to testing and counseling services for 33 million people with HIV. In addition, US-supported programs reached over 8 million pregnant women and provided 600,000 mothers with drugs to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV, leading to more than 114,000 infants to be born HIV-free. Numbers do not tell the whole story of PEPFAR and our progress, but they are a reminder of the children, women and men whose lives are being saved every day.

"PEPFAR is a key element of our foreign policy. The President had made this clear and our Administration's commitment has been unwavering. We have also made an unprecedented multi-year pledge to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. We are proud of our leadership in the fight against global AIDS, but we cannot do it alone. We are urging donor nations to increase their commitments, particularly through the Global Fund. And we are working with severely affected countries to find more ways for the international community to support country led efforts.

"We must continue to fight for those who have been impacted by this epidemic. Too many people are getting sick and dying every day and this is simply unacceptable. We must redouble our efforts on behalf of the millions of people with HIV/AIDS, their loved ones, their families and their friends."
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Old June 8th, 2011
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Default Re: Misc. HIV/AIDS government pronouncements & stuff.

blog.AIDS.gov 7 June 2011

http://blog.aids.gov/2011/06/continu...og.AIDS.gov%29

Quote:
Continuing Steps to Implement the National HIV/AIDS Strategy as the Pandemic Turns 30

By Jeffrey S. Crowley, M.P.H., Director, Office of National AIDS Policy (Cross-posted from White House Office of National AIDS Policy Blog)

As we reflect on the thirtieth year of the HIV pandemic, our work continues. I wanted to share with you two developments at the White House as we mark this somber, but important milestone.

HHS Announces New Steps to Implement the National HIV/AIDS Strategy

Yesterday, I participated in a call with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and key leaders in her Department who announced new actions to support the implementation of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy.

Mary Wakefield, PhD, RN, Administrator of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) discussed the Administration’s continued commitment to supporting States in responding to the challenge of state waiting lists in the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP). Funding for ADAP has enjoyed broad bipartisan support. Even in a tough budget climate and at a time when other critical health programs received cuts, the Administration fought for and achieved a $50 million increase in funding for ADAP in FY 2011 compared to the enacted level for FY 2010. This year, the Federal government alone will invest $885 million in the ADAP program. Administrator Wakefield announced that the increased funding will allow a temporary program established last summer with $25 million in emergency funds to continue and HRSA will allocate the remaining increase through both the ADAP formula program and through a targeted, competitive grant process to assist States with waiting lists or other cost containment measures that could impede access to critical medications. While there are challenges in ensuring that individuals have access to life saving medications, HRSA is working closely with states and encouraging pharmaceutical companies to help bridge the gap in this program until state economic conditions improve and the Affordable Care Act alleviates some of the pressure on this program.

Ms. Cindy Mann, Deputy Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and Director of the Center for Medicaid, CHIP, and Survey and Certification discussed a State Medicaid Director (SMD) letter, issued yesterday, that informs States of various opportunities in Medicaid to improve care coordination and care delivery for people living with HIV, as well as opportunities to use Section 1115 HIV demonstration waivers to expand access to Medicaid for people living with HIV. To facilitate States considering a Section 1115 demonstration waiver, CMS also issued a template and stated that they will work with States to develop streamlined and flexible approaches to meeting legal and policy requirements for these waivers. The commitment to issue this waiver guidance was made in the Federal Implementation Plan for the National HIV/AIDS Strategy and in some states, could provide a mechanism for relieving pressure on ADAP while also providing more coordinated and high-quality care.

A blog post by CMS Administrator Don Berwick can be found HERE. The SMD issued by CMS can be found HERE.

Dr. Tom Frieden, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) described CDC’s vision for high-impact HIV prevention. He announced that even in a very difficult budget environment, CDC was increasing its investment in HIV prevention services by $31 million in FY 2011. He also described some of the targeted new prevention investments CDC is making as it realigns its entire HIV prevention portfolio to have a bigger impact. He spoke of the need, articulated in the National HIV/AIDS Strategy, to focus on the geographic, demographic, and programmatic characteristics of the HIV epidemic. In particular, he highlighted the need to better address gay and bisexual men of all races and ethnicities (but especially gay and bisexual men of color), because they reflect the majority of new infections and the only group in the US where infection rates are rising. He discussed the Enhanced Comprehensive HIV Prevention Planning (ECHPP) initiative in the twelve cities and surrounding metropolitan areas that account for nearly half (44%) of the HIV cases in the United States. He described this as a platform for making improvements in planning that will be applied across CDC’s HIV prevention programs. He discussed CDC’s investments in helping state and local jurisdictions track and report CD4 and viral load measurements in order to track community viral load. Research studies have demonstrated that when a community is able to lower the mean viral load across all people living with HIV in that community that this leads to a lowering in HIV incidence. Therefore, tracking community viral load is an important tool for reducing the number of new infections. CDC is doing important work to support states and localities in building their capacity to track community viral load.

Each of these agencies announced significant new initiatives yesterday that move us forward in implementing the National HIV/AIDS Strategy. Their impact, however, is greatest when viewed together. We have a stronger evidence base than ever before and a clearer vision of how to support individuals and communities in lowering their risk of becoming infected with HIV, helping individuals living with HIV to learn their status, and how to bolster the programs that support individuals with HIV in accessing the care and services they need (including access to antiretroviral therapy). Our work continues, but we are making definite forward progress.

Champions of Change

Champions of Change is a weekly White House initiative to highlight Americans who are making an impact in their communities and helping our country rise to meet the many challenges of the 21st century. Last week, we invited a diverse group of people living with HIV to join me; Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary for Health, Dr. Howard Koh; Brian Bond, Deputy Director of Public Engagement and former ONAP staffer and Senior Scientist at CDC, Greg Millett – both people living with HIV; as well as Allison Nichol and David Knight of the Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice and David Vos, Director of the Office of HIV/AIDS Housing at the Department of Housing and Urban Development for a round table to discuss their experiences as people living with HIV.

For more than two years we’ve been working in close partnership with many members of the HIV community and as we enter our fourth decade fighting HIV/AIDS, we believed it was important to again hear from the collective wisdom of people living with HIV in order to assess our progress and make plans for concerted efforts going forward. Everyone has something to contribute toward ending this pandemic. That’s why we have been working with people living with HIV every step of the way. We felt it was important to meet with HIV positive leaders and hear about the lived experiences of people who may be still facing stigma in their own communities. Many who may still struggle to gain access to services, yet who are working everyday to support their communities as they respond to HIV. The discussion was very powerful and it generated a lot of good ideas.

Check out this introductory post from Brian Bond HERE and learn about these incredible individuals HERE. And check back, as this page will be updated throughout the week with posts by each of these individuals.

Posted in: HIV Policy & Programs, National HIV/AIDS Strategy
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Old June 8th, 2011
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"Raising HIV/AIDS Awareness (hysteria?) in the Caribbean Community" blog.AIDS.gov 8 June 2011

http://blog.aids.gov/2011/06/raising...og.AIDS.gov%29

Quote:
Raising HIV/AIDS Awareness in the Caribbean Community

By Gregorio Millett, M.P.H., Senior Policy Advisor, Office of National AIDS Policy (Cross-posted from White House Office of National AIDS Policy Blog)

Today, Wednesday, June 8, 2010 is the sixth annual observance of Caribbean-American HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. Caribbean-American HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is designed to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS in Caribbean communities in the United States and its territories. Raising awareness is a necessity because Caribbean communities are at elevated risk for HIV infection.

There are 30 countries in the Caribbean stemming from the 3 most populous (Cuba, Dominican Republic, and Haiti) to the least populous (Saint Barts, Saint Eustatius, and Saba). After sub-Saharan Africa, the Caribbean has the second highest HIV prevalence in the world. HIV prevalence among adults in the Caribbean was approximately 1.1% between 2001 and 2007, although rates vary among countries. Cuba has a low HIV prevalence (0.1%) among adults while the Bahamas has the highest HIV adult prevalence in the region (3.1%). According to CDC, except for sub-Saharan Africa, the Caribbean is the only region where the proportion of women and girls living with HIV (53%) is higher than the proportion of men and boys. Unprotected heterosexual sex is the main HIV transmission mode in the Caribbean. However, transmission categories differ by country. Injection drug users are a primary driver of the HIV epidemic in Puerto Rico, whereas gay and bisexual men and heterosexuals are primarily affected in Cuba and the Dominican Republic (respectively).

CDC recently published surveillance data of HIV among blacks in the United States who are of Caribbean origin. Of an estimated 100,013 black adults and adolescents diagnosed with HIV infection from 2001 to 2007, 11.7% were foreign-born, with most from the Caribbean (54.1%) and Africa (41.5%). Most Caribbean foreign born blacks with HIV in the US are from Haiti (66.9%), 18.2% from Jamaica, 6.3% from Trinidad and Tobago, 3.3% from the Bahamas, 1.4% from Barbados, and 3.8% from other areas of the Caribbean. Males account for the majority (56.6%) of HIV diagnoses among black people born in the Caribbean. Females account for 57.4% of diagnoses among HIV-positive black Americans born in Africa.

Additional information about HIV in the Caribbean is available at UNAIDS, World Health Organization and Pan American Health Organization. Additional information of HIV among Caribbean born individuals in the United States is available on the Centers for Disease Control website. In addition, links to other informational resources are available at the Florida/ Caribbean AIDS Education and Training Center.

Posted in: HIV Policy & Programs, HIV/AIDS Awareness Days
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Old June 9th, 2011
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"Commemorating 30 Years of Leadership in the Fight Against HIV/AIDS" HHS.gov Speeches 8 June 2011

Largely a partisan attack on a rival Administrations response to HIV/AIDS 30 years ago. Curious attempt at reclassifying HIV/AIDS as a "chronic disease".

Quote:
Commemorating 30 Years of Leadership in the Fight Against HIV/AIDS

June 8, 2011
Washington, DC

Remarks as prepared for delivery

Thank you Dazon for that kind introduction. But more importantly, thank you for your tireless leadership in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Every day, through your work and your example, you give hope and courage to some of the most vulnerable women and families around the world.

And thank you, Dr. Koh, for your leadership on this and so many critical public health issues.

I am honored to share the stage with 5 remarkable leaders who have been generous enough to share their personal stories with us today.

We are here to remember those we have lost to this pandemic and to honor those who fight against the virus and for a cure. We are here to mark the gains we have made over the last 30 years and to look ahead with hope and purpose at the next steps we must take in our fight against HIV/AIDS.

The story of the first 3 decades has been one of great commitment, discovery and collaboration. But it is also a story of enormous uncertainty and terrible loss.

More than 600,000 Americans have died long before they should have. Worldwide, more than 30 million people are living with HIV today, including 2.5 million children.

It can be easy to focus on all the data, dollars and scientific milestones that we so often use to measure our progress. And they are important.

But we can never forget that the story of HIV/AIDS is one of countless individual human lives.

There are many of us in this room today who never thought this disease would still be with us 30 years later. And there are some people in this room who were not born when this epidemic began.

Just think about that. A generation of people who have never lived in a world without this virus.

And in this age of advanced treatments, when HIV is no longer a death sentence for many, it can be easy to forget how scary those first years were.

We didn’t know what caused the disease and we weren’t sure how it spread. What we did know was that it almost certainly meant death. One advocate compared these early days to living in a war zone: you were never sure when the next bomb would drop.

With this uncertainty came fear. And with fear came prejudice. Children like Ryan White were turned away from their schools because they were HIV positive. Tenants were locked out of their apartments and forced to live on the streets.

Workers were fired from jobs they had held for decades. Sons and daughters lying in hospital beds were abandoned by their families.

Treatment was hard to come by unless you qualified for Medicaid or could keep a job that provided insurance. And the treatments we did have were not as effective as any of us wished.

When our national government was slow to act, it was community organizations, springing up on street corners across the country that met people’s needs. They connected people to treatment, educated them about how to protect themselves, battled discrimination, and got the country’s attention.

And they taught us, most poignantly, that silence equals death.

Many of you know this story because you lived it. And you went on to build strong coalitions that included government, community-based groups, employers, health professionals, and people with AIDS coming together with a sense of urgency to develop better approaches for treating and reducing the spread of this disease.

No single narrative can do justice to our journey over the last three decades. There are, instead, a million individual stories sewn together by a shared hope for progress:

Science must keep moving forward. Prevention must reach even further and be even more effective. And all people living with HIV/AIDS must have better access to the treatment and care they need whether they live in Washington, DC or a village outside Nairobi.

Over time – in some instances a relatively short time – science took what was once an impenetrable mystery and began to uncover answers – the kind of answers that not only worked in the lab but also saved lives.

Thanks to the work and ingenuity of scientists and doctors at places like CDC, NIH, FDA, and HRSA, new effective therapies and tools for prevention came online.

Today, more than 30 licensed drugs are widely available in the developed world and have begun to transform HIV into a chronic disease adding years to people’s lives.

But we know that progress is not enough. That’s why President Obama has made the fight against HIV at home and around the world a top priority for his Administration -- including the development of a National AIDS Strategy that is providing direction and focus to all our efforts.

This battle is not over. As long as this virus threatens the health and lives of people here and around the globe, the struggle continues.

And so, on this day, in this place, we need to remember the words of Mother Jones who told us to “Pray for the dead and fight like hell for the living!”

And that’s what we’re going to do.

Thank you.
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Old June 11th, 2011
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"HRSA Guide for HIV/AIDS Clinical Care" blog.AIDS.gov 10 June 2011.

Further identification of HIV/AIDS as a "chronic disease". Yet another agency, or department, or bureau dedicated exclusively to HIV/AIDS.

Quote:
HRSA Guide for HIV/AIDS Clinical Care

By Laura Cheever, M.D., M.S., Deputy Associate Administrator, HIV/AIDS Bureau, HRSA

Thanks to advances in detection and treatment, more people are living longer with HIV – but with increased life expectancy comes more complex care. In light of rapidly changing conditions in HIV care, HRSA’s HIV/AIDS Bureau has developed the Guide for HIV/AIDS Clinical Care, a comprehensive roadmap for physicians, nurse-practitioners, dentists, and other clinicians on how best to manage the long-term care of patients. The newly-released volume covers more than 90 topics and provides guidance on a broad range of clinical care issues, including testing and assessment, health care maintenance and disease prevention, oral health, antiretroviral medications, and more.

Given the long-term implications for those living with the virus, there is no better time for a comprehensive guide book to provide easy access to crucial facts for a busy clinician.

For more information on the guide, please visit: http://hab.hrsa.gov/deliverhivaidscare/clinicalguide11/

A note from AIDS.gov: Interested in more resources from HRSA? Did you know HRSA is tweeting about this and other resources and news that you might be interested in? You can follow @HRSAgov Exit Disclaimer on Twitter.

Posted in: Uncategorized
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Old June 14th, 2011
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The move towards classifying HIV/AIDS as a "chronic disease" may have been instigated by it's beneficiaries in an effort to gain access to funding opportunities like these.

http://www07.grants.gov/search/synop...nbh!1831633765

Quote:
Prevention and Public Health Fund Coordinated Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Program

The synopsis for this grant opportunity is detailed below, following this paragraph. This synopsis contains all of the updates to this document that have been posted as of 06/08/2011 . If updates have been made to the opportunity synopsis, update information is provided below the synopsis.

If you would like to receive notifications of changes to the grant opportunity click send me change notification emails . The only thing you need to provide for this service is your email address. No other information is requested.

Any inconsistency between the original printed document and the disk or electronic document shall be resolved by giving precedence to the printed document.

Document Type: Grants Notice
Funding Opportunity Number: CDC-RFA-DP09-9010301PPHF11
Opportunity Category: Discretionary
Posted Date: Jun 08, 2011
Creation Date: Jun 08, 2011
Original Closing Date for Applications: Jul 22, 2011 5:00pm Eastern Standard
Current Closing Date for Applications: Jul 22, 2011 5:00pm Eastern Standard
Archive Date: Aug 21, 2011
Funding Instrument Type: Cooperative Agreement
Category of Funding Activity: Health
Category Explanation:
Expected Number of Awards: 53
Estimated Total Program Funding: $129,271
Award Ceiling: $0
Award Floor: $0
CFDA Number(s): 93.544 -- The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (Affordable Care Act) authorizes Coordinated Chronic Disease prevention and Health Promotion Program
Cost Sharing or Matching Requirement: No

Eligible Applicants

Others (see text field entitled "Additional Information on Eligibility" for clarification)


Additional Information on Eligibility:

Eligibility is limited Grantees currently funded under DP09-901 to States, District of Columbia and Territorial (Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands) health departments or their Bona Fide Agent.

Agency Name

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Description

The purpose of the program is to establish or strengthen Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Programs within State Health Departments, to provide leadership and coordination, support development, implementation and evaluation of CDC funded Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion programs, focusing on the top five leading chronic disease causes of death and disability (e.g. heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, and arthritis) and their associated risk factors, in order to increase efficiency and impact of categorical diseases and risk factor prevention programs, including, but not limited to heart disease, cancer prevention and control, stroke, arthritis, diabetes, nutrition, physical activity and obesity.

Link to Full Announcement

LINK IS NOT ACTIVE; PLEASE CLICK ON THE FULL ANNOUNCEMENT TAB AT THE TOP OF THIS PAGE

If you have difficulty accessing the full announcement electronically, please contact:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Procurement and Grants Office (PGO)
Technical Information and Management Section (TIMS)
Phone 770-488-2700 General Submission Inquiries

Synopsis Modification History

There are currently no modifications for this opportunity.
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Old June 21st, 2011
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"Veterans’ Stories: The VA and 30 Years of AIDS" blog.AIDS.gov 20 June 2011.

Like a recent Whitehouse.gov video ( see http://www.foreskin-restoration.net/...ead.php?t=7941 ), highly emotive and personal, raising questions as to the objectivity and perspective of senior policy-makers.

Quote:
Veterans’ Stories: The VA and 30 Years of AIDS

By Deb LeBel, Partnerships Specialist, AIDS.gov

Did you know that the Veterans Health Administration is the largest single provider of HIV care in the United States, providing care for more than 24,000 Veterans living with HIV in 2010?

The VA has been and remains an integral part of the service delivery system for people living with HIV in our country. The agency has a history of HIV care that goes back to 1981, when the CDC reported the first cases of AIDS. Here’s a quote from a nurse whose reminiscences appear on the VA’s 30 Years of AIDS site:

I remember hearing about a disease affecting gay men in 1984, but as a Psychiatric Clinical Specialist working in Mental Health, I did not think I would be affected in my specialty area. But then a Veteran came into my office and told me he was dying from some new disease and he did not know how to tell his parents that he was dying and that he was a homosexual. He died exactly 14 days later, leaving parents who were confused and devastated. My journey through the AIDS crisis had begun.

The VA Public Health Strategic Healthcare Group recently redesigned its HIV/AIDS pages for providers and patients to better serve its site visitors. In addition, the VA posted a special web feature looking at 30 years of AIDS for health care providers, Veterans and the public. Posted there are several “perspectives” — reflections and stories told by VA providers and Veterans who were on the front-line of the epidemic. Here are the perspectives posted to date:

* Janet Gearin, RN, Clinical Nurse Specialist in Behavioral Medicine Service at the VA CBOC in Tulsa, Oklahoma
* Matthew Goetz, MD, Chief of Infectious Diseases and Director of the Clinical AIDS/HIV Program at the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System
* K. Heck, A Veteran in Oklahoma
* David Rimland, MD, Chief of Infectious Diseases and Director of the HIV Program at the VA Medical Center, Atlanta
* Paul Volberding, MD, Chief of the medical service at the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and principal investigator and co-director of UCSF’s Center for AIDS Research.
* Charlie W, A Veteran

These stories remind me of the important work done at VA facilities, yesteryear, yesterday and today. And each story reminds me of the power of storytelling. Check out this “perspectives” series often as more stories get posted.

These inspiring stories also complement the VA’s current national campaign Get Checked, Say Yes to the Test. Don’t miss all that the VA is doing to increase HIV testing in VA facilities especially as we approach June 27 – National HIV Testing Day. As VA staff will tell you: HIV testing saves lives. Get Checked, Say Yes to the Test.

Posted in: People Living With HIV, Video Sharing
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Old June 25th, 2011
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"Inspiration for a Future Free of HIV" blog.AIDS.gov 24 June 2011.

By Eric Goosby.

Goosby rarely or never mentions circumcision (but often makes up for it by paying due homage to "the health of women and girls"). Rather than a focus on female-to-male transmission of HIV (which is all circumcision reduces slightly, maybe) this blog focuses female-to-child transmission.

http://blog.aids.gov/2011/06/inspira...og.AIDS.gov%29

Quote:
Inspiration for a Future Free of HIV

By Eric Goosby, Ambassador, U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator (Cross-posted from State Department Blog)

This week, First Lady Michelle Obama is visiting South Africa and Botswana, focusing on youth leadership, education, health and wellness. Today, Mrs. Obama met with organizations dedicated to combating HIV/AIDS in South Africa, including groups that use soccer to convene and educate children about HIV/AIDS. Tomorrow, she will meet with a Teen Club in Botswana that teaches teens about leadership and how to educate others about HIV.

During her meetings with African youth, Mrs. Obama is highlighting the importance of youth leadership in fighting HIV/AIDS. These young men and women grew up watching family members and friends taken by this devastating virus. But today they know there is hope. They have seen dramatic change in recent years — thanks to strong leadership from their Government with support from the American people — where people who were once dying are now living. These youth can be the generation that ends HIV/AIDS.

The United States is proud to be supporting South Africa, Botswana and countries around the world in leading their fight against HIV/AIDS. In South Africa, there are more than one million people on life-saving HIV treatment today, a far cry from the 50,000 people on treatment in all of sub-Saharan Africa in 2003. And Botswana is now closing in on the goal of eliminating mother-to-child HIV transmission.

These successes are being replicated in countries around the world thanks to support from the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). Globally, the United States is supporting more than 3.2 million people on life-saving treatment. In 2010, PEPFAR directly supported 11 million people on care, including 3.8 million orphans and vulnerable children. And PEPFAR-supported programs reached over 600,000 mothers with services to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV, leading to more than 114,000 infants being born HIV-free in 2010 alone. For millions of youth around the world, these numbers represent parents, friends and community leaders who are now living with HIV instead of dying from it. As we focus on results, America is also supporting countries so they can lead their fight in the future and continue to save even more lives.

The Obama Administration is more committed than ever to build on the successes of the last decadeand to continue to work with other governments and partners as we all work toward our shared goal of a world without HIV/AIDS. And we hope the millions of lives saved to date will inspire youth in Africa and around the world to continue their fight for an HIV-free future.

Editor’s Note: This entry also appears on the White House Blog.

Posted in: Global, PEPFAR Updates
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Old June 27th, 2011
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"National HIV Testing Day 2011" blog.AIDS.gov 27 June 2011.

http://blog.aids.gov/2011/06/nationa...og.AIDS.gov%29

Quote:
National HIV Testing Day 2011

By Thomas Frieden, M.D., M.P.H., Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Cross-posted from White House Office of National AIDS Policy Blog)

Note: Today President Obama issued a statement on National HIV Testing Day

Thirty years ago, at the beginning of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, there was no test for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. For many, there was only the long and worrisome wait for the signs of infection. Once those signs appeared, no treatment for the virus was available. I personally cared for many, many patients in this era, and I am thankful that those days are over. Today, HIV testing is accurate, widely available, and often free—and treatment can help people living with HIV enjoy long, healthy lives, especially when they get diagnosed early.

The good news is that more people are being tested for HIV than ever before. It is estimated that almost 83 million American adults between 18 and 64 have been tested for HIV, as of 2009. That’s an increase of more than 11 million from 2006 when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC) recommended that HIV testing become a routine part of medical care for adults and adolescents.

However, more than half of American adults still have never taken an HIV test. That’s why we need to spread that message that HIV testing saves lives and why today, June 27th, National HIV Testing Day, is an important reminder for us to reach as many people as possible with this life-saving information. Founded by the National Association of People with AIDS Exit Disclaimer, National HIV Testing Day (NHTD) focuses on promoting HIV testing and early diagnosis of HIV across the United States. The day’s theme “Take the Test. Take Control.” emphasizes that knowing one’s HIV status – whether it’s positive or negative – is empowering.

Research shows that once people get tested, those who are HIV positive take steps to protect their partners from HIV. Testing HIV negative is also beneficial – as it empowers individuals to take stock of – and modify – risky sexual behaviors so that they can remain HIV negative.

If you are HIV positive – what you don’t know CAN hurt you – and others. A third of those with HIV are tested very late and develop AIDS within a year of their HIV diagnosis, which may be too late to utilize the full benefits of treatment. Approximately 17,000 Americans with AIDS still die each year. Too many new HIV infections in the United States occur because people who don’t know they are HIV infected transmit the virus to others.

HIV testing is a significant part of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS), the nation’s first-ever comprehensive coordinated HIV/AIDS plan. This plan focuses on reducing infections, increasing access to care and improving health outcomes, and reducing HIV-related health disparities.

The federal government continues to make investments to provide HIV testing to those at risk for HIV. CDC initiated the Expanded Testing Initiative in October 2007. Findings from the Initiative were published last week in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. The $111 million effort provided funding for health departments in 25 of the nation’s hardest-hit areas. As a result of these efforts, CDC-supported health departments were able to offer 2.8 million HIV tests in just three years.

As a result of the Expanded Testing Initiative, more than 18,000 Americans living with HIV learned their HIV status for the first time. Approximately three-quarters of the individuals who were newly diagnosed were successfully linked to HIV care, of those for whom follow up data were available. Increasing HIV testing is among our country’s top health priorities as testing not only saves lives, it saves resources. Each HIV infection averted saves an estimated $367,000 (2009 dollars) in lifetime medical costs.

On this 17th annual National HIV Testing Day, we thank the many, many individuals, organizations, and agencies who are taking action to make sure everyone knows that HIV testing is an important step in stopping HIV infections and creating health for our friends, family, colleagues, and neighbors.

To locate an HIV testing site near you, text your Zip Code to “KNOWIT” (566948), visit www.HIVtest.org Exit Disclaimer, or call 800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636). To find local HIV resources, including testing, housing, and substance abuse treatment, family planning, and mental health services, visit the HIV/AIDS Prevention and Services Provider Locator tool.

Posted in: HIV/AIDS Awareness Days, Testing
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