National HIV/AIDS Strategy Tiptoes Forward
January 27, 2011
The implementation of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy moved a tiny step forward Thursday when federal agencies presented oral summaries of how they plan to carry out the strategy -- the first of its kind in the nation.
Problem is, several agencies that will play crucial roles in making the strategy a success did not present plans. Among those who did not address the National HIV/AIDS Strategy were the Centers for Disease Control, the Department of Education, the Department of Labor, the Health Services and Resources Administration, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and the National Institutes of Health.
Agency representatives presented the plans in Washington, D.C., to the 25 members of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS, the group charged with advising the federal government on AIDS policy. The Office of National AIDS Policy won't release a document with the plans until mid-February (we'll publish it here). But today's meeting was open to the public, and Housing Works' Vice President of National Advocacy and Organizing Christine Campbell offered a few notes.
The aim of the strategy is to one day create a country in which HIV infections are rare. When the president released the plan in July, however, Housing Works criticized the specific targets set in the plan, calling them insufficiently aggressive if Obama's plan is to truly make HIV a rarity. The strategy, for example, proposes reducing new HIV infections by just 25 percent in five years -- meaning the U.S. will have 42,000 new infections in 2015.
In today's presentation, agencies were supposed to present initial implementation plans. But Carl Schmid, deputy executive director of the AIDS Institute in Washington, D.C., said many agency reps simply spoke about what they already do to fight HIV/AIDS.
He also noted the absence of several critical agencies.
"It's really initial steps [we're hearing], and I think now we have to see the detail," he said. "[But] I don't know know why those agencies weren't there. If you're looking at achieving these goals, we need these agencies."
New State of AIDS in Black America Report Recommends Full Implementation and Scale Up of Health Care Reform and National HIV/AIDS Strategy
This article was provided by Housing Works. It is a part of the publication Housing Works AIDS Issues Update. Visit Housing Works' website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.
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