HRSA’s Efforts to Achieve the Goals of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy
The National HIV/AIDS Strategy (the Strategy) is a 5-year plan to reduce new HIV infections, improve health outcomes, reduce disparities, and achieve a more coordinated national response to the HIV epidemic. First released on July 13, 2010, the Strategy identified a set of priorities and strategic action steps tied to measurable outcomes for moving the nation forward in addressing the domestic HIV epidemic. In July 2015, the National HIV/AIDS Strategy for the United States: Updated to 2020 (NHAS 2020) was updated to serve as the roadmap for implementing key initiatives.1
2016 HRSA Initiatives to Reach the Strategy’s Goals
In 2016, the Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) HIV/AIDS Bureau (HAB) continued to implement a comprehensive system of HIV care and treatment led by the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program and conducted the following activities to address the goals of the Strategy:
- Release of the 2015 Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Annual Client-Level Data Report. In December 2016, HAB published its second annual national Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Client-Level Data Report. The report features Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Services Report (RSR) data about clients served by the RWHAP during calendar years 2011 through 2015. The publication provides an in-depth look at demographics and socioeconomic factors of clients served, such as age, race/ethnicity, transmission risk category, federal poverty level, and housing status. In addition, the report provides selected analyses to measure RWHAP’s progress toward achieving specific HIV-related health outcomes.2
- Investment in new initiatives to increase the number of people of color living with HIV who are diagnosed with, treated for, and cured of the hepatitis C virus (HCV). The initiatives, supported through the Health and Human Services Secretary’s Minority AIDS Initiative Fund, will build the capacity of Ryan White HIV/AIDS Programs in several jurisdictions by providing financial resources and capacity building assistance to Part A and Part B recipients.3 Each recipient will design and test different models of care. This effort will build upon lessons learned during the Special Project of National Significance (SPNS) Program’s Hepatitis C Treatment Expansion Initiative, which ran from 2010 to 2014 and supported organizations implementing focused interventions to increase access to and completion of HCV treatment for people also living with HIV.4
- Promotion of public leadership for people living with HIV. In 2016, HRSA convened an expert consultation panel to discuss the critical role played by public leadership by people living with HIV in achieving the goals of the Strategy and to better identify and understand gaps and barriers to public leadership. Information from the consultation identified technical assistance topic areas that support leadership development for people living with HIV and collaboration ideas between HAB, federal partners and stakeholders.5
- Collaboration with other U.S. Department of Health and Human Services agencies to improve access to comprehensive Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) services. HAB released a Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Letter on PrEP in June 20166 and later conducted a webcast for Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program providers and recipients that encouraged the uptake of PrEP services within the parameters of the RWHAP legislative authority.
- The 2016 National Ryan White Conference on HIV Care and Treatment. In August 2016, the HIV/AIDS Bureau brought together 2,400 HIV care and treatment leaders, RWHAP recipients, and individuals providing direct care to people living with HIV for the 2016 National Conference in Washington, D.C.7 The Conference provided an opportunity for recipients, national partners, and federal agencies to collaborate and share best practices for improving health outcomes along the HIV care continuum under the theme “Forward Momentum: Accelerating Access. Optimizing Care. Transforming Public Health.” In addition, the 2016 National Conference provided an opportunity to disseminate programmatic and scientific advancements in HIV care, treatment, and prevention.