We have just concluded a successful National HIV Prevention Conference, where I was again reminded of the challenges and opportunities that we find ourselves in at this time. The conference provided a venue to discuss health reform, the effects of the economic downturn, development of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy, strengthening accountability, focusing on results, and measuring impact. Both at home and abroad, great work continues to be done under difficult circumstances at the state and local level, using this time to increase the efficiency of our programs by choosing interventions strategically, increasing program efficiency through integration and improved program management, and maximizing long term benefit. These lessons apply equally to the prevention of STDs, TB, and viral hepatitis.
National HIV Prevention Conference 2009
More than 3,000 public health, medical, and AIDS community leaders convened in Atlanta last month. Conference participants included HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius; Director of the White House Office of National AIDS Policy, Jeffrey Crowley; CDC Director Thomas Frieden; and many notable people including basketball legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson.
Magic Johnson gave the opening address and discussed the challenges of living with HIV, as well as common myths about HIV in the black community. Jeffrey Crowley presented on the Administration’s plans for developing a National HIV/AIDS Strategy, while Kathleen Sebelius and Thomas Frieden discussed the current Administration’s commitment to HIV Prevention. Additionally, a plenary session was held on promising advances in HIV prevention science. A special session with members of Congress was held to discuss their perspectives on key legislative and policy issues affecting the lives of individuals living with HIV and the communities that are most deeply affected by the epidemic. The conference was a big success! We look forward to the 2011 conference.
49th ICAAC Meeting
National Gay Men’s HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
National Latino AIDS
National STD Prevention
Data on the specific risk of H1N1 flu in people with HIV/AIDS is not available, but those living with HIV–especially persons with low CD4 cell counts or AIDS–can experience more severe complications of seasonal flu. Thus, HIV-infected individuals may be at higher risk for complications from the H1N1 flu virus.
To ensure that the HIV community is prepared, Dr. John Brooks of CDC’s HIV/AIDS Prevention Program discussed CDC’s interim guidance for HIV-infected adults and adolescents regarding the H1N1 flu virus in a podcast. AIDS.gov also sponsored a webinar on September 2 on the same topic. Experts from CDC, NIH, and other HIV service providers gave an update on H1N1 preparedness, especially as it applies to people living with HIV and AIDS. A transcript of the webinar will be available on AIDS.gov.