The U.S Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), where AIDS.gov is housed, has specific responsibilities for implementing the National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS). The Strategy is intended to be a roadmap plan for responding more effectively to the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the United States. NHAS identifies a set of priorities and strategic action steps tied to measurable outcomes—and the NHAS Implementation Plan (PDF 723 KB) assigns specific implementation responsibilities to Federal agencies and Departments.
The HHS leaders who will oversee the Department’s NHAS responsibilities are Dr. Howard Koh, the Assistant Secretary for Health, and his designated lead, Dr. Ronald Valdiserri, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Infectious Diseases. In addition, the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA), which reports directly to the HHS Secretary, has a significant role in monitoring and evaluating the NHAS.*
The Implementation plan assigns HHS the following tasks:
- Coordinating operational and programmatic activities for the National HIV/AIDS Strategy within HHS
- Coordinating HIV/AIDS programs with other Departments
- Tracking Federal programs implemented in each State or territory and working with States to ensure Federal HIV/AIDS activities are coordinated with State HIV/AIDS plans
- Establishing regular cross-Departmental meetings to coordinate program planning and administration of HIV/AIDS-related programs and activities
- Submitting a report with detailed operational plans for achieving the NHAS goals to the Office of National AIDS Policy and the Office of Management and Budget
As Dr. Koh’s designee, Dr. Valdiserri will also be responsible for “forging collaborations across HHS and with other Federal departments and coordinating Federal efforts with States.”
Dr. Valdiserri has had a long career as a public health physician working on HIV prevention, treatment, and research. Before assuming his position as Deputy ASH, he served as the Deputy Director of the CDC’s National Center for HIV, STD and TB Prevention and as Chief Consultant, Public Health for the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Office of Public Health and Environmental Hazards.
You will be hearing periodically from Dr. Valdiserri here at AIDS.gov. He will be producing blog posts and podcasts about his role in the implementation of the Strategy and about HHS’ progress toward the NHAS goals of reducing new HIV infections, increasing access to care and improving health outcomes for people living with HIV, and reducing HIV-related health disparities.
But remember—the success of the Strategy is not just a Federal responsibility. Both Dr. Koh and Dr. Valdiserri are committed to fulfilling our NHAS responsibilities–and doing so in collaboration with our partners both in and out of government. As Dr. Valdiserri notes: “We all have a role to play, and eliminating HIV will require commitment from all parts of society.” He looks forward to a continuing conversation with you and to working together to meet the NHAS goals!
*We will be blogging more on PACHA’s roles and responsibilities for the NHAS. Stay tuned!