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Ronald Valdiserri, M.D., M.P.H.

Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health, Infectious Diseases, and Director, Office of HIV/AIDS and Infectious Disease Policy, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 

Medicare Proposes Coverage for Annual HIV Test, Invites Public Comment

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  The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has proposed expanding coverage for HIV screening for Medicare beneficiaries. In a Proposed Decision Memo dated January 29, 2015, the agency states “CMS proposes that the evidence is adequate to conclude that screening for HIV infection for all individuals between the ages of 15 and 65…

Report of 2013 Progress on Viral Hepatitis Action Plan

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This week, we release the third annual report of progress made in implementing the Action Plan for the Prevention, Care, and Treatment of Viral Hepatitis (Action Plan). The 2013 report [PDF 655KB], compiled by the HHS Office of HIV/AIDS and Infectious Disease Policy, spotlights several key accomplishments under each of the Action Plan’s six priority areas…

Ongoing Efforts to Reduce Reporting Burden for HHS HIV Grantees

Ronald Valdiserri

To help achieve a more coordinated response to HIV in the U.S., the National HIV/AIDS Strategy contains the following recommendation: “The Federal Government should take short and longer-term efforts to simplify grant administration activities, including work to standardize data collection and grantee reporting requirements for Federal HIV programs.” Acting upon that recommendation, in April 2012,…

Access to Hepatitis C Therapy Listening Session with Community Stakeholders

Ronald Valdiserri

Last month, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) convened a listening session on the important issue of access to curative treatment for hepatitis C virus infection. While the advent of more effective, second-generation direct-acting antivirals for the treatment of hepatitis C represents a tremendous scientific accomplishment and a potential public health triumph, community…

2014 Viral Hepatitis Year-in-Review and Looking to 2015

Ronald Valdiserri

2014 has been a year of both opportunities and challenges in the fight against viral hepatitis. In May, the World Health Assembly passed a new resolution  [PDF 151 KB] on viral hepatitis, urging member states to develop and implement coordinated, national strategies for preventing, diagnosing and treating viral hepatitis.  Our nation’s own comprehensive viral hepatitis strategy,…

Two New Hepatitis C Resources Support Expanding Provider Capacity

Ronald Valdiserri

Two professional medical societies have recently launched initiatives to support a wider variety of health care providers in adapting to new roles and opportunities resulting from the rapidly evolving arena of hepatitis C (HCV) screening, diagnosis, and treatment. As the Viral Hepatitis Action Plan observes, providers at every level in the healthcare system can play…

Protect Yourself from the Flu: Important Information for People at Risk for and Living with HIV

Ronald Valdiserri

The cold winter months are upon us, along with the flu season. Seasonal flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. The virus is spread by droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. Some scientists believe that the cold, dry air of the winter months is one of the factors…

Revised Hepatitis C (HCV)/HIV Coinfection Section of the Adult and Adolescent Antiretroviral Treatment Guidelines Released

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Last week, the HHS Panel on Antiretroviral Guidelines for Adults and Adolescents announced the release of the updated “Guidelines for the Use of Antiretroviral Agents in HIV-1-Infected Adults and Adolescents.” As described in What’s New in the Guidelines, this interim revision of the guidelines features a revised section on Hepatitis C (HCV)/HIV Coinfection that emphasizes…