How is the Federal Government Implementing the Strategy?
As a companion to the National HIV/AIDS Strategy the White House also issued a Federal Implementation Plan (PDF 723 KB) that includes immediate, short-term, and longer-term Federal actions that are intended to move the Nation toward improving its response to HIV/AIDS and meeting the Strategy's goals.
Upon the release of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy, President Obama also issued a memorandum to the heads of Federal agencies and departments regarding the implementation of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy. Agencies across the Federal government immediately began work to implement the actions detailed in it. In addition, the lead federal agencies for implementing the Strategy—the Departments of Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Justice, Labor, and Veterans Affairs, and the Social Security Administration—submitted to the White House Office of National AIDS Policy (ONAP) and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) detailed operational plans for implementing the Strategy within their agencies. Read more in this blog post.
Agency Operational Plans
These operational plans complement the Federal Implementation Plan that was released with the Strategy. The Federal Implementation Plan details action steps that specific agencies would meet the goals of the Strategy in 2010 and 2011.
The lead federal agencies for implementing the Strategy—Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Department of Justice, Labor, Veterans Affairs, and the Social Security Administration—submitted to the Office of National AIDS Policy (ONAP) and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) detailed operational plans for implementing the Strategy within their agencies.
Each agency’s operational plan addresses not only its approach to implementing the actions assigned in the Federal Implementation Plan but also details additional intra- and inter-agency activities and initiatives.
ONAP and OMB also received from the Secretary of Defense a plan for aligning the health care services provided by the Department of Defense with the Strategy; and the Secretary of State submitted recommendations based on lessons learned in implementing the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR); and the Chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) submitted recommendations for increasing employment opportunities for people living with HIV and a plan for addressing employment-related discrimination against people living with HIV.
Ongoing Implementation Activities
Across the government, agencies and offices continue efforts to implement the NHAS and build upon accomplishments and lessons to date. Among the ongoing activities are:
The White House’s HIV Continuum of Care Initiative
Since the release of the Strategy in 2010, there have been significant new developments in the HIV/AIDS field that provide additional clarity and focus for our national efforts to prevent and treat HIV infection. These include scientific discoveries that have greatly enhanced our understanding of how to prevent and treat HIV and recommendations by independent panels that clinicians screen all individuals ages 15 to 65 years for HIV and offer treatment to all adolescents and adults diagnosed with HIV. In response to these developments, on the observance of the third anniversary of the Strategy on July 15, 2013, the President reaffirmed the Administration’s commitment to the National HIV/AIDS Strategy and directed Federal departments to prioritize addressing the HIV care continuum as they continue to implement the Strategy. In an Executive Order, he asked Federal departments to accelerate efforts to increase HIV testing, care, and treatment to better address drop-offs along the continuum of HIV care and increase the proportion of individuals in each stage along the continuum. Doing so, the President observed, will enable us to meet the goals of the Strategy and move closer to an AIDS-free generation.
The next step in Strategy implementation, the HIV Care Continuum Initiative will mobilize Federal efforts in line with the recent advances in our understanding of how best to prevent and treat HIV infection. It will support further integration of HIV prevention and care efforts, promote expansion of successful HIV testing and service delivery models, encourage innovative approaches to addressing barriers to accessing testing and treatment, and ensure that Federal resources are appropriately focused on implementing evidence-based interventions that improve outcomes along the HIV care continuum.
In response to the President’s Executive Order, an HIV Care Continuum Working Group has been established to support the Initiative and coordinate Federal efforts. Co-Chaired by the Director of the Office of National AIDS Policy and the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Working Group consists of representatives from the Departments of Health and Human Services, Justice, Labor, Housing and Urban Development, Veterans Affairs, the Office of Management and Budget, and other agencies and offices as designated by the co-chairs of the HIV Care Continuum Working Group, who will work to align and coordinate Federal efforts, both within and across agencies, to maximize outcomes along the care continuum. Specifically, the Working Group is tasked by the President to:
- Request and review information from agencies describing efforts to improve testing, care, and treatment outcomes, and determine if there is appropriate emphasis on addressing the HIV care continuum in relation to other work addressing the domestic epidemic;
- Review research on improving outcomes along the HIV care continuum;
- Obtain input from Federal grantees, affected communities, and other stakeholders to inform strategies to improve outcomes along the HIV care continuum;
- Identify potential impediments to improving outcomes along the HIV care continuum, including by populations at greatest risk for HIV;
- Identify opportunities to address potential impediments and thereby improve outcomes along the HIV care continuum;
- Recommend ways to integrate efforts to improve outcomes along the HIV care continuum with other evidence-based strategies to combat HIV;
- Specify how to better align and coordinate Federal efforts, both within and across agencies, to improve outcomes along the HIV care continuum.
The President has also directed the Working Group to
- Provide recommendations on actions agencies can take to improve outcomes along the HIV care continuum within 180 days; and
- Report back on their progress implementing this Initiative as part of the annual report to the President on the implementation of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy.
Learn more about the White House’s HIV Care Continuum Initiative:
Consultations with Stakeholders
Implementing the actions called for in the NHAS has involved numerous consultations with Federal partners as well as external stakeholders focusing on specific issues or populations. For example, HHS has convened consultations with leaders from the LGBT communities, persons living with HIV, African American gay and bisexual men, women, and others.
Improving Coordination Across the Federal Government
To achieve the Strategy’s goals, representatives of the lead Federal agencies with responsibility for implementing the NHAS convene regularly to share implementation progress highlights and explore collaborative efforts.
Within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), a NHAS Implementation Group comprised of representatives of 10 operational divisions and more than 13 staff offices from across HHS began meeting immediately after the NHAS was released and has continued convening regularly to share updates about recent progress on activities detailed in the Department’s NHAS Operational Plan and identify opportunities for further collaboration and program improvement.
Efforts aimed at improving coordination across Federal programs are also underway beyond Washington, DC with regional summits to identify ways to coordinate and collaborate in HIV/AIDS-related activities such as those held in 2011 in HHS Region II (New York, New Jersey and Puerto Rico), Region IV (in the Southeastern U.S.) and Region VIII (in the Mountain West); and those held in 2012 in multiple regions (more here).
Last revised: 07/15/2013