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Mobilizing Public and Private Sector Investments to Support Critical HIV Services

The White House Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation and the Office of National AIDS Policy held a joint meeting on Friday, September 9th on “Mobilizing Public and Private Sector Investments to Support the Goals of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy,” in which 25 members from the private sector and philanthropic community gathered to discuss ways to enhance existing support and investments targeted at HIV/AIDS prevention, care and treatment, as well as to strategize on ways to bring new people to the table to foster new investments and commitments.

Office of National AIDS Policy (ONAP) Director, Jeffrey Crowley welcomed guests and reiterated the President’s message that the Federal government cannot do this essential work alone.  At this “all-hands-on-deck” moment, we must work together in new ways to make lasting progress on persistent social problems.  Marta Urquilla, Senior Policy Advisor in the Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation, explained how the Social Innovation Fund (SIF), which invested in AIDS United as part of its inaugural portfolio in 2010, reflects a new way of doing business for the federal government.  The SIF invests in intermediaries to identify promising community solutions that are achieving results and support the growth, validation and scale of those innovations. A vehicle for public-private investment, the SIF leverages 3 private dollars for every 1 Federal dollar, and drives capital to communities in need, including those that are historically under-resourced.

Mark Ishaug, President and CEO of AIDS United (AU) presented AIDS United’s new “Make It Grow” campaign and gave an update from AU’s Access to Care (A2C) Initiative.  He talked about the importance of the commitments and investments they’ve received from the private sector to do their work – which is leading thousands of people with HIV to have improved access to doctors and case management services.  Terry McGovern, Senior Program Officer, HIV/AIDS Human Rights, Ford Foundation and Raymond Sacchetti, Senior Vice President, U.S. Virology, Bristol-Myers Squibb, both of whom have been critical partners in working with ONAP to stimulate private sector support for HIV programs, talked passionately about the importance of their commitments to this effort…providing the “why they need to do this,” as well as the importance of why they need to do this now, and describing why they feel it is a corporate responsibility to do this work.  These discussions were followed by a presentation on the value of the data and national evaluation and outcomes to date by Johns Hopkins University professor and chair of the Department of Health, Behavior and Society, Dr. David Holtgrave.

Many participants recognized that this is an opportune time in the United States to support HIV programs, and there are many ways to become engaged.  The bulk of the meeting time was given to a roundtable discussion where participants talked about successes and challenges, as well as effective solutions.  Several participants discussed ways that they could work in new ways to support the engagement of other participants.

This meeting is one of a series focused on Public-Private Partnerships that ONAP will be hosting this fall. You can also find out about future events. If you have any questions or would like to see how you or your organization can become engaged, please contact James Albino at jalbino@who.eop.gov.

*Joan Romaine is a Policy Advisor in the Office of National AIDS Policy and she is on detail from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and James Albino is the Senior Program Manager in ONAP.

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