NHAS–3 Years Later

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Three years ago today, the Presiden’ts administration released the first National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS) that signified an administration that was bold enough to dream along with the HIV/AIDS community that we would one day see an HIV free generation, and that in was possible in our lifetime.  The ambitious goals set forth in the NHAS presented the nation with a centralized template with the intention reducing and eventually eliminating HIV transmission, increasing access to care and maximizing health outcomes, and reducing health related-disparities.Three years later, it is time to reassess and objectively analyze where we are, how far we’ve come, and if the goals that have been set are still accurate and attainable given the current political terrain.  In order to make the necessary steps forward towards achieving an HIV-free generation, we must recommit and examine the NHAS goals and ask ourselves how to accomplish what has been set forth while simultaneously acknowledging and weighing the obstructions that threaten to handicap what the NHAS has set out to do.  Encumberances such as the sequestration process, which has suppressed the ability to adequately respond to the epidemic for so many organizations, or political gridlock in Washington, which has arrested the legislative momentum of so many social and bugetary HIV-relavant issues, must necessarily be the lense through which we now view the NHAS goals and commitments.While recognizing these hurdles and the requisite appraisal of our current strategy, we must also further galvanize our determiniation to actualize the goals that are now so tangibly within our reach.  An HIV-free generation is something we must dare to accomplish, and OAC and ARC Ohio believe that through statewide collaboration we can begin to translate the NHAS to a state level that will inform a unified strategy informed by the unique factors of Ohio’s context.One year ago, OAC held a summit with the intention of beginning to craft such a strategy, and now OAC recommits itself to once more bring together a host of community leaders, state and county health department representatives, case management and prevention agency personnel, and community stakeholders to realign ourselves to the task at hand.  OAC will advertise this event in greater detail as the program unfolds this coming fall.
To read more from OAC’s most recent policy update, click here.  If you’d like to sign up for our bi-weekly policy update, feel free to email us at wovrosh@ohioaidscoalition.org