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Accelerating the efforts to end HIV in the United States: the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' priorities

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BACKGROUND: On December 1, 2021, President Biden marked World AIDS Day by announcing the release of a new National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS). The updated NHAS aims to accelerate efforts to end the HIV epidemic in the United States by 2030. NHAS was informed by substantial contributions from stakeholders within the HIV community, including people living with HIV, and supported by partners at the federal level. It recognizes racism as a public health threat, places an emphasis on addressing the of people with HIV who are aging, and expands the focus on addressing the social determinants of health.
This session will feature senior HHS staff and Harold Phillips, Director of the White House Office of National AIDS Policy, as well as two community stakeholders, including one from the rural South and one from Presidential Advisory Council.
DESCRIPTION: NHAS and the EHE initiative were both molded by national stakeholder involvement. The Strategy and the initiative will both guide the development of federal policies and priorities in the coming years, including working with the Department of Justice, and others to reform HIV criminalization laws.
The process used to develop the NHAS included expanded involvement from across the U.S. government, including the Departments of Agriculture and Education, in recognition of the whole-of-government approach that must be taken to comprehensively address HIV and tackle ongoing racial disparities.
LESSONS LEARNED: During the development of the current NHAS, ongoing community engagement was key in refining messages and tactics included in the Strategy. Additionally, COVID-19 has drastically affected data collection and service delivery in the United States. HHS has invested in the interventions of HIV home testing, telehealth, including telePrEP and tele-harm reduction, and virtual planning and convenings.
CONCLUSIONS: The current NHAS will continue to be implemented through 2025, with the goal to decrease new infections in the United States by 2030. The panel will discuss the NHAS Federal Implementation Process, the involvement of the community in that process, and how progress will be tracked and reported. Information will be shared about the process to develop a new indicator for NHAS focused on quality of life for people with HIV.