Response to NHAS’ “Increasing Access To Care” Pillar
Last week’s release of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS) by the Office of National AIDS Policy (ONAP) demonstrates the dedication and commitment of the Obama administration to fighting the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the United States. The three pillars of the NHAS -- Reducing Incidence, Increasing Access to Care and Reducing Health Disparities – offer a blueprint for an effective response to the disease domestically, and an opportunity for all of us in the corporate, philanthropic and HIV communities to come together to establish clear goals and measurable outcomes to affect real change.
For two decades, the National AIDS Fund has been mobilizing private sector investments to support community-driven responses to the HIV/AIDS epidemic and we are now playing a strategic role in discussions with ONAP about the importance of public-private partnerships in the implementation of the NHAS. In May, 2010 we were the only national HIV/AIDS organization to assist with the planning and to participate in a panel discussion on The Role of Public Private Partnerships in the National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS), moderated by Melody Barnes, Director of the Domestic Policy Council.
The panel presented an important opportunity to showcase the 20+ year experience NAF has working with the public and private sectors as well as community to address HIV/AIDS in the United States. ONAP showcased NAF’s collaboration with Bristol-Myers Squibb in support of the “Increasing Access to Care” pillar of the NHAS. The new grantmaking partnership, “Positive Charge,” provides resources to five areas of the country highly impacted by HIV/AIDS to increase access to HIV care by identifying and minimizing the barriers that people living with HIV/AIDS experience as they navigate the social services and medical care systems. This collaboration represents an unprecedented strategic private sector investment in community-based responses to accessing HIV/AIDS care and true bridge-building between the public/private sectors and the community.
To ensure that the NHAS is effective we must keep the momentum going. ONAP has made it clear that the successful implementation of NHAS will require the commitment of all parts of society; including people living with HIV/AIDS, state and local governments, corporate America, faith communities, highly affected communities, philanthropy, and others. With the release of NHAS, we must be more diligent than ever in creating inventive cross-sector partnerships that capitalize on our strengths as individuals, organizations, government agencies and communities.
The National AIDS Fund was founded in 1988 to reduce the incidence and impact of HIV/AIDS by promoting leadership and generating resources for effective community responses to the epidemic. For more info, www.aidsfund.org.