Office of HIV/AIDS and Infectious Disease Policy (OHAIDP) is responsible for a number of important Federal initiatives, including:
Implementation of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy
The National HIV/AIDS Strategy is a comprehensive plan that details principles, priorities, and actions to guide our collective national response to the HIV epidemic.
First released by President Obama on July 13, 2010, the Strategy identified a set of priorities and strategic action steps tied to measurable outcomes for moving the nation forward in addressing the domestic HIV epidemic. In July 2015, the White House released the National HIV/AIDS Strategy for the United States: Updated to 2020. This update reflects the work accomplished and the new scientific developments since 2010 and charts a course for collective action across the Federal government and all sectors of society to move us close to the Strategy’s vision. The Director of OHAIDP co-chairs, with the Director of the White House Office of National HIV/AIDS Policy, the cross-departmental Federal Interagency Working Group that updated the Strategy and is coordinating and monitoring its implementation. Within HHS, OHAIDP leads efforts to coordinate operational and programmatic activities related to implementation of the strategy across operating divisions and staff offices, including convening cross-departmental meetings to coordinate program planning; facilitating the specification, standardization, and adoption of 7 common indictors for monitoring HHS-funded HIV prevention, treatment, and care services across CDC, HRSA, and SAMHSA; reviewing draft HIV-related funding announcements prior to publication; and participating in activities to monitor progress toward the Strategy’s goals. In addition, OHAIDP is tasked with leading or supporting a number of activities detailed in the NHAS Federal Action Plan.
Implementation of the National Viral Hepatitis Action Plan
OHAIDP coordinates cross-governmental implementation of the Action Plan for the Prevention, Care, and Treatment of Viral Hepatitis, which was originally launched in 2011 by the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH). In 2014, a 3-year update to the plan was developed and released by the Secretary and the Assistant Secretary for Health (ASH). It details more than 150 actions to be undertaken between 2014 and 2016 by 20 federal agencies or offices from across 4 federal departments and highlights the opportunities for engagement by a broad array of nonfederal stakeholders. OHAIDP facilitates an inter-agency implementation work group, reports on annual progress, facilitates opportunities to raise awareness among affected populations as well as healthcare providers, and promotes the involvement of partners in activities aligned with the Action Plan’s goals and priorities, including promoting national observances such as Hepatitis Awareness Month (May) and Hepatitis Testing Day (May 19). In 2016, OHAIDP is facilitating the development of a four-year update to the Action Plan to be released by the end of the year.
Management of the Secretary's Minority AIDS Initiative Fund
Established by Congress in 1999 in response to growing concern about the impact of HIV/AIDS on racial and ethnic minorities in the U.S., the Minority AIDS Initiative (MAI) includes an annual allocation of resources to the HHS for the Secretary’s MAI Fund (SMAIF), which is administered by OHAIDP on behalf of OASH and OS. Those resources are distributed on a competitive basis to HHS agencies and staff offices (OAH, OMH, OPA, OWH and the RHAs). Since 2011, OHAIDP has worked to ensure alignment of the SMAIF with NHAS goals and priorities. In FY’15 a total of $52.2 million was awarded to support 31 initiatives across 10 HHS Operating Divisions and Staff Offices to prevent new HIV infections and reduce drop-offs along the HIV care continuum for racial and ethnic minorities who bear a disproportionate burden of HIV disease. Those awards included two cross-agency, multi-year demonstration projects in which OHAIDP plays a leading role in both planning and monitoring. The Partnerships for Care demonstration is building sustainable partnerships among 4 CDC-funded state health departments (FL, MD, MA, and NY) and 22 HRSA-funded health centers to expand the capacity of community health centers, health departments, and their respective grantees to improve the identification of undiagnosed HIV infection, establish new access points for HIV care and treatment, and improve HIV outcomes along the continuum of care in communities highly affected by HIV, especially among racial/ethnic minorities. In addition, a new four-year demonstration project led by CDC was launched with a FY’15 award: the Health Department Demonstration Projects for Comprehensive Prevention, Care, Behavioral Health, and Social Services for Men Who Have Sex with Men (MSM) of Color at Risk for and Living with HIV Infection. This investment supports state and local health departments to collaborate with community-based organizations, healthcare clinics and providers, behavioral health providers, and social service providers to develop comprehensive models of prevention, care, behavioral health, and social services for MSM of color living with or at risk for HIV acquisition. Health departments in seven jurisdictions received awards: Alabama, Baltimore, District of Columbia, Louisiana, New York City, Philadelphia, and Virginia.
Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA)
The PACHA is a 25-member federal advisory committee that provides advice, information, and recommendations to the HHS Secretary regarding programs and policies intended to promote effective prevention of HIV disease, and to advance research on HIV disease and AIDS. The White House asks PACHA to provide, on an ongoing basis, recommendations on how to effectively implement the National HIV/AIDS Strategy, as well as monitor the strategy's implementation.
OHAIDP administers AIDS.gov, a cross-government web site, blog, and social media presence that seeks to expand visibility of and access to federally supported HIV information and services for people most at-risk for or living with HIV, particularly racial and ethnic minority communities. AIDS.gov also highlights how social media can be an effective tool in the response to HIV. Among its activities, AIDS.gov holds monthly meetings of the Federal HIV/AIDS Web Council to coordinate activities and facilitate cross-promotion of key agency, department, and administration HIV messages, policies, and resources. AIDS.gov also provides technical assistance to help HIV program staff be more comfortable and engaged with social media.
Advisory Committee on Blood and Tissue Safety and Availability (ACBTSA)
The ACBTSA is a 31-member federal advisory committee that provides advice to the HHS Secretary and the Assistant Secretary for Health on a range of policy issues that includes: 1) identification of public health issues through surveillance of blood and tissue safety issues with national biovigilance data tools; 2) identification of public health issues that affect availability of blood, blood products, and tissues; 3) broad public health, ethical and legal issues related to the safety of blood, blood products, and tissues; 4) the impact of various economic factors on safety and availability of blood, blood products, and tissues; 5) risk communications related to blood transfusion and tissue transplantation; and 6) identification of infectious disease transmission issues for blood, organs, blood stem cells and tissues.
Blood and Tissue Safety and Availability
OHAIDP is currently supporting coordination of the policies for the HHS Operating Divisions (OpDivs) around the HIV Organ Policy Equity (HOPE) Act which lifted a decades-old ban on research into organ donations from one person with HIV to another; revision of the MSM blood donation deferral policy.
Transfusion Transmission Infectious Disease Monitoring System (TTIMS)
The TTIMS program is designed as a product of the long-standing OASH/Blood, Organ, and Tissue Senior Executive Council (BOTSEC) Men Who Have Sex With Men (MSM) Working Group review of the FDA lifetime blood donor deferral for MSM. Patterned after the NIH’s REDS-II research program, the TTIMS initiative was designed by the MSM Working Group as a public health surveillance-monitoring program to collect data on the incidence and prevalence of HIV, HCV, and HBV in blood donors. The program was adopted by the FDA and is performed under government contracts with the American Red Cross and Blood Systems Research Institute, resulting in a monitoring coverage of approximately 60% of the U.S. blood supply. The TTIMS program is guided by the TTIMS Steering Committee constituted with HHS Opdiv and Staffdiv members, including two from OASH.
RAND Corporation Study on the Sustainability of the U.S. Blood Supply
The RAND Study is designed as a product of the standing OASH/ACBTSA Blood Sustainability Subcommittee. To aid in the Subcommittee’s exploration of the sustainability of the U.S. Blood Supply system, the RAND Corp was contracted to produce a research report titled: “Toward a sustainable blood supply in the United States: an analysis of the current system and alternatives for the future.” This is an OASH funded RAND Study and OASH personnel guide and oversee the RAND team with expert opinions and guidance provided as needed by the ACBTSA Subcommittee on Sustainability.
Tissue and Organ Donor Epidemiology Study (TODES)
The TODES project was initiated to develop a framework for collecting information on infectious disease screening data from potential organ and tissue donors in a standardized manner in order to more accurately estimate infectious risk associated with organ and tissue transplantation. The retrospective study was designed to collect relevant donor characteristics, including HIV, HBV and HCV test results, and to capture information about data quality and potential sources of bias. This is an OASH funded study conducted by Research Triangle International with guidance from the TODES Technical Working Group comprising federal and nonfederal stakeholders. The report will be available in summer of 2016.