The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has awarded $375,000 to Oklahoma to conduct state and local planning and kick off community involvement for the proposed federal initiative, Ending the HIV Epidemic: A Plan for America, which seeks to reduce new HIV infections in America by 90% by 2030. The funding (Notice of Funding Opportunity PS19-1906) includes two parts:
Accelerating State and Local HIV Planning
$12 million of the HHS Minority HIV/AIDS Fund has been awarded to 32 CDC-funded state and local health departments to develop comprehensive Ending the HIV Epidemic plans that are tailored by and for each community. These local plans will be unique to each area because the HIV epidemic affects communities differently. Plans will be based upon a national framework that identified the highest-impact HIV prevention, care, treatment, and outbreak response strategies. This one-time funding has been awarded to health departments that represent the 57 geographic areas that have been prioritized for the first year of the initiative.
The National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD) has been awarded $1.5 million per year from 2019 to 2023, based on the availability of resources, to enhance local health departments’ capacity to end the epidemic in the 57 geographic areas. This effort, which uses CDC HIV prevention funds, will also support strategic communication and policy activities, partnerships, data analyses, and technical assistance. As part of this work, NASTAD will provide technical assistance in the development of local plans, and will establish, build, and maintain collaborative relationships with organizations to support the implementation of the local plans.
“From the very beginning of President Trump’s Ending the HIV Epidemic initiative, we have been clear: Defeating this epidemic will only be possible if we listen to the perspectives of people living with HIV and the communities in which they live and work,” said HHS Secretary Alex Azar. “With these new planning grants, we are excited to support local communities in identifying the stakeholders and steps necessary to halt the spread of HIV, starting in the places where we can make the greatest impact.”
Community input has always been critical to HIV prevention and has shaped the development of Ending the HIV Epidemic in many important ways. Throughout the year, HHS agencies have sought input from leaders at multiple levels on the national framework — and on steps for moving it forward — during national conferences; webinars; meetings with national organizations; site visits with communities across the country; and ongoing engagement with CDC-funded partners and organizations.
Feedback from these activities has led to the integration of several key elements that will shape local planning. These elements include greater flexibility for states and local communities to design and direct approaches that best meet their needs; ongoing inclusion of new, diverse partners in local planning activities; greater emphasis on supporting bold, innovative efforts that overcome barriers to HIV prevention, testing, and treatment; and building upon community experience that is already in the field. If the initiative is funded, states and local areas will begin implementing their Ending the HIV Epidemic plans in 2020.
“For decades, local community plans have been pivotal to HIV prevention, treatment, and care,” said HHS Assistant Secretary for Health ADM Brett P. Giroir, M.D. “And locally designed plans in each jurisdiction are also essential to the success of the Ending the HIV Epidemic initiative. We are committed to enabling communities to best use the resources they need to plan and engage stakeholders.”
Health departments will be required to engage members of local communities that are most heavily impacted by HIV, people with HIV, local prevention and care integrated planning bodies, local HIV service providers, new partners, and others. CDC plans to issue additional guidance to ensure robust and diverse community involvement in development of local plans, which will continue to be refined over time, by the community.
“Our goal is to ensure that the key pillars of HIV prevention and treatment are delivered in a manner planned by the community, in the community, and for the community,” said CDC Director Robert R. Redfield, M.D. “We have engaged and listened to advocates across the country who have provided valuable input into our overall national framework. Now, it is time for these communities to be inclusive of new voices, to innovate, and to effectively reach people living with and at greatest risk for HIV, in particular those who currently are not diagnosed and linked to care.”
For More Information
To learn more about Ending the HIV Epidemic: A Plan for America, announced by the President in his State of the Union address on February 5, 2019, visit Ending the HIV Epidemic: A Plan for America. For more information about HIV/AIDS prevention, testing, treatment, and research, visit www.hiv.gov. For more information about CDC’s role in the Ending the HIV Epidemic initiative, visit www.cdc.gov/endhiv.