As we shared in our blog last month, significant progress has been made in implementing the National HIV/AIDS Strategy (Strategy) in its first year. We are proud of the enthusiasm, support and contributions of our Federal partners, as well as so many community members, people living with HIV, funders, businesses, faith leaders and other stakeholders.
As these stakeholders have demonstrated, the success of the Strategy doesn’t lie in the hands of the Federal government alone. One of the most encouraging developments over the last year has been the manner in which the Strategy has served to steer a conversation about HIV in the direction of the strategic steps that individuals, communities, states, and the Nation need to take to achieve the Strategy’s goals. In various state and local jurisdictions across the country, agencies have either developed their own Strategy implementation plans, or they have started the process of doing so. Additionally, numerous HIV services and advocacy organizations have held meetings and community dialogues about what the Strategy means for their own communities. These actions are critically important and must continue.
NHAS Implementation Dialogues
To sustain and expand these actions at the state and local levels, this fall the Office of National AIDS Policy will be convening a series of regional dialogues across the country to focus attention on critical issues related to implementation of the Strategy. These dialogues will serve as a forum for Federal and state agency representatives, researchers, clinicians, and the community, as well as leaders from the business, foundation, faith and media sectors to discuss lessons learned, share their diverse expertise, and identify new ways of collaborating. These dialogues also will help build and strengthen new collaborative partnerships at the state, tribal and local levels as well as bring new people into the fight against HIV in the United States.
Dialogue Topics and Locations
We are planning five dialogues on distinct topics related to implementing the Strategy.
Dates, times, locations and other details will be announced soon. Please continue to check the ONAP website over the coming weeks for more information.
Each of the 2.5-hour meetings will include a federal update on implementation of the Strategy and an overview of the specific topic of the dialogue followed by a panel discussion of that topic. Participants will have the opportunity to dialogue with the panel and share examples of ways they are addressing the topic as they work to implement the Strategy at the local level.
Although many individuals and organizations have committed to making the Strategy’s goals real, there is a need to bring in a broader range of community groups and organizations to help reinforce and re-invigorate the effort. We hope you will join us for one of the dialogues and share your expertise as we continue to engage the community in this important national endeavor.
James Albino is Senior Program Manager of the Office of National AIDS Policy