Harold Phillips Presents at Congressional Briefing on Importance of HIV Research (HIV.gov)

Harold Phillips Presents at Congressional Briefing on Importance of HIV Research

Cross-posted from HIV.gov

Content From: Harold J. Phillips, MRP, Director, White House Office of National AIDS Policy

On May 9th, I was pleased to serve as a panelist during a congressional briefing titled Then, Now, Imagine: the Path to Ending HIV/AIDS. The briefing was co-hosted by AVACTreatment Action Group,  Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS FoundationGlobal Health Technologies CoalitionResearch! America, and the Research Working Group of the Federal AIDS Policy Partnership, in conjunction with Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA) and the Congressional HIV Caucus. It centered on the importance of HIV research domestically and globally, with a focus on HIV prevention, treatment, and other research funded through the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which moves the U.S. closer to ending the HIV epidemic.

Other panelists included Dr. Bill Kapogiannis, Acting Director of the NIH Office of AIDS Research; Dr. Stephaun E. Wallace, Director of External Relations for the HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN); Ms. Sally Bock, Senior Director of Marketing for HVTN; Dr. Amanda D. Castel, Principal Investigator of the D.C. Cohort Longitudinal HIV Study; and Dr. Sandhya Vasan, Director of the Henry M. Jackson Foundation component of the Military HIV Research Program. Representative Lee provided pre-recorded opening remarks, and Ms. Jessica Salzwedel of AVAC facilitated the panel.

During the briefing, I provided an overview on the alignment of NIH-funded HIV research to national efforts such as the National HIV/AIDS Strategy (2022–2025) (NHAS), the NHAS Federal Implementation Plan, and the Ending the HIV Epidemic in the U.S. (EHE) initiative. I also discussed how NIH colleagues worked to increase inclusion of HIV research opportunities and gaps in the NHAS and its Federal Implementation Plan. It was important to share how NIH-supported HIV research is providing the knowledge base for EHE through implementation science and research on social determinants of health that underlie HIV risk and outcomes.

To wrap up, I highlighted how NIH-funded research relates to ONAP’s priorities to promote U=U, stigma reduction, reduced HIV criminalization, increased public-private partnerships to address HIV, and syndemic approaches for HIV-associated conditions.

Other panelists presented on the following topics:

  • The NIH HIV research agenda, strategic planning process, and signature HIV programs, including HIV and aging, HIV and women, technology for HIV research, and early career investigators.
  • HVTN’s work to develop a potential HIV vaccine.
  • HVTN’s Red Ribbon Registry and contributions to COVID-19 vaccine development.
  • The DC Center for AIDS Research’s work to address HIV in the District through the D.C. Cohort Longitudinal HIV Study and collaboration with other key partners globally.
  • Current HIV prevention and treatment modalities, as well as global research to advance progress toward a future HIV vaccine and cure.

My fellow panelists and I drove home the point that continued and increased HIV research investments are needed to ensure that domestic and global HIV goals are met. These investments are critical to meeting the needs of people most impacted by HIV and lessening HIV-related disparities.

To learn more about NIH research efforts, I encourage you to read more here. Also, read here for more information about the recent National HIV Vaccine Awareness Day.

Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO)/SAMSHA (June 28, 2023)


The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has announced a new funding opportunity that will support up to three pilot sites to take a syndemic approach to services by integrating behavioral health, HIV, and other services that are delivered outside for unsheltered racial and ethnic minority individuals using a portable clinical care approach. The pilot sites will be required to deliver a core package of services that includes basic primary healthcare; infectious disease prevention, testing, and treatment; substance use disorder (SUD) treatment; mental healthcare; and harm reduction services.

The Integrated Behavioral Health and HIV Care for Unsheltered Populations Pilot Project (Short Title: Portable Clinical Care Pilot Project) is supported with resources from the Minority HIV/AIDS Fund, which is administered by the HHS Office of Infectious Disease and HIV/AIDS Policy. SAMHSA’s Center for Substance Abuse Treatment will manage the program. Funded projects may last up to three years. In FY2023, $2 million is available to support the pilot sites. Applications are due by July 24, 2023.

To learn more about the NOFO please read the latest HIV.gov Blog/SAMHSA Funding Opportunity for Portable Clinical Care Services for Racial/Ethnic Minorities Experiencing Unsheltered Homelessness.

National HIV Testing Day 2023: “Take the Test & Take the Next Step” (June 27, 2023)

HIV testing promo

National HIV Testing Day (NHTD) is observed on June 27th each year to emphasize and encourage HIV testing. The theme for 2023, “Take the Test & Take the Next Step” emphasizes that knowing your HIV status helps you choose options to stay healthy. Knowledge of HIV status is the first step to accessing prevention or treatment services that enable individuals to live a long and healthy life regardless of their status. There are many different ways and places that patients can get tested for HIV, including at home with a self-test. Learn more about the benefits of self testing.

HIVTestingDay PromoCDC Testing Recommendations

The importance of HIV testing is included in the National HIV/AIDS Strategy for the United States 2022-2025 (PDF 1.76 MB), and one of its objectives, To Increase Knowledge of HIV Status, aligns with NHTD. Further, CDC recommends the following HIV testing:

  • Everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 should get tested for HIV at least once as part of routine health care.
  • Those with certain ongoing risk factors—such as having more than one sex partner since their last HIV test or having sex with someone whose sexual history they don’t know—should get tested annually. Some sexually active gay and bisexual men may benefit from more frequent testing (e.g., every 3 to 6 months).
  • As part of proactive prenatal care, all pregnant women should receive certain blood tests to detect infections and other illnesses, such as HIV, syphilis, and Hepatitis B.

Learn more about the Importance of HIV Testing for Prevention of HIV Infection and HIV Tests for Screening and Diagnosis on the CDC website now.

HIV Status-Neutral Service Delivery Model

Status-neutral is an evolution and expansion of how HIV service agencies currently implement the HIV care continuum. Status-neutral encompasses the delivery of HIV prevention and care services while addressing the myriad social and health needs of patients regardless of their HIV status. Testing is at the forefront of the status-neutral model. Below is PAETC’s status-neutral model.

HIV Status Neutral Model

Learn more about the status-neutral model from TargetHIV.

Resources from PAETC and our Training Partners

HIV 101 Testing Resources


National HIV Testing Day Promo

Web pages

CAPTC Videos on Delivering Positive Test Results

The California Prevention Training Center has created various video roleplays on delivering positive HIV results.

National HIV Testing Day #HIVTestingDay (HIV.gov)

National HIV Testing Day #HIVTestingDayCross-posted from HIV.gov

National HIV Testing Day (NHTD) was first observed on June 27, 1995. This is a day to encourage people to get tested for HIV, know their status, and get linked to care and treatment.

The theme for 2023, “Take the Test & Take the Next Step” emphasizes that knowing your HIV status helps you choose options to stay healthy. HIV testing, including self-testing, is the pathway to engaging people in care to keep them healthy, regardless of their test result. People who receive a negative test result can take advantage of HIV prevention tools such as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), condoms, and other sexual health services such as vaccines and testing for sexually transmitted infections. People who receive a positive test result can rapidly start HIV treatment (antiretroviral therapy, or ART) to stay healthy. To support this year’s theme, partners can add a tagline to customize as they like. For example:

  • Take the Test & Take the Next Step: No matter how you test, no matter your test results, take the next step.
  • Take the Test & Take the Next Step:  Check your status and know. Take the steps to be good to go.
  • Take the Test & Take the Next Step: Testing – critical to ending the HIV epidemic in the U.S.!

The National HIV/AIDS Strategy and the Ending the HIV Epidemic in the U.S. Initiative emphasize diagnosing individuals as soon as possible and ensuring the availability of multiple HIV testing modalities to best meet the needs of populations with increased risk of transmission due to a wide range of social, economic, and demographic factors (such as stigma, discrimination, etc.).

HIV testing is an act of self-care. According to the CDC, encouraging people to get tested and know their HIV status can help them stay healthy. Today, there are more free, easy, fast, and confidential HIV testing options available than ever before. Testing, including self-testing, is the first step to engaging in HIV prevention or treatment services. HIV testing is a critical tool to helping us end the HIV epidemic in the United States.

Watch this Taking the Test is Taking Care of You video to learn more about HIV testing and self-care.

Currently, CDC and many other organizations are distributing free HIV self-testing kits. You can find more information about HIV testing on our HIV Testing Overview page.

Summer of Pride and LGBTQI+ Health (HIV.gov)

Cross-posted from HIV.govSummer of Pride and LGBTQI+ Health

Content From: B. Kaye Hayes, MPA, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Infectious Disease, Director, Office of Infectious Disease and HIV/AIDS Policy (OIDP), Executive Director, Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA)

Celebrating June as LGBTQI+ Pride Month brings me great joy, as it is a time to recognize the community’s contributions while remembering the challenges faced by so many. Given this reality, I appreciate the powerful reminder from President Biden’s Press Secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre, “Your identity is not your weakness; it is your superpower.”

During the past year, strides led by LGBTQI+ advocacy have yielded significant public health achievements. One such achievement is the mobilization of the community to educate and organize around mpox vaccination and our efforts to prevent a resurgence.

Additional achievements include the recently updated FDA blood donor guidance, which overturned longstanding policies that excluded gay and bisexual people from donating blood, and the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps’ updated medical standards to accept future applicants with chronic hepatitis B and HIV.

Despite these and other advances, it’s unfortunate that LGBTQI+ communities still face disparate health inequalities. LGBTQI+ people are at an increased risk for adverse health outcomes, such as HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs), substance abuse, and mental health-related distress. They are also more likely to lack health insurance, experience health care-related discrimination, and be denied health care by a provider.

Advancing Health Equity for LGBTQI+ Communities

At the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), we are working to ensure full equality for LGBTQI+ people and addressing LGBTQI+ health disparities head-on. This summer, we hope you will join us in sharing resources to advance the health of LGBTQI+ communities. I want to highlight important ways my office, the Office of Infectious Disease and HIV/AIDS Policy in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health at HHS, is working to advance health equity for LGBTQI+ communities.

We coordinate the cross-agency Ending the HIV Epidemic in the U.S. (EHE) initiative. This initiative aims to end the HIV epidemic and highlights four key strategies that, when implemented together, can help us all focus on diagnosing, treating, preventing, and responding to HIV.

We collaborate with LGBTQI+ communities to leverage critical scientific advances and coordinate to support highly successful programs and resources. The success of this initiative depends on partners from all sectors of society working together, including people with HIV or at risk for HIV.

Additional HHS Resources to Use and Share

As part of the EHE initiative, HHS developed the community-informed “I am a Work of ART” national viral suppression campaign and its Spanish-language version, “Celebro mi salud,” which feature creative partners who represent the diversity of the HIV community. The campaign aims to encourage people with HIV who are not in care to seek care, remain in care, and achieve viral suppression by taking antiretroviral therapy (ART).

HIV.gov also features valuable and timely updates to expand the visibility of federal HIV policies, programs, and resources. The website provides information to increase knowledge about HIV and access to HIV services. For example, the HIV.gov Services Locator makes it easier to find nearby HIV services, mpox vaccines, and other services.

The first-ever Sexually Transmitted Infections National Strategic Plan 2021-2025 (PDF, 2.49MB) offers a roadmap to reverse the recent dramatic rise in STIs in the United States, which disproportionately burdens LGBTQI+ subgroups.

As the Summer of Pride and related events continue across the country, I encourage you to use and share these resources and continue celebrating the community’s achievements. Please follow HIV.gov for more information and visit CDC’s Get Healthy and Ready for Summer 2023 resource webpage.

Please also check out two videos from my office’s staff about the significance of Pride within OIDP and why it matters to us as an organization, as well as why our OIDP team is passionate about supporting and celebrating Pride.

Happy Pride!

Homecoming: New Resource Focused on Incarceration, Housing, and HIV (HIV.gov)

Cross-posted from HIV.govHomecoming: New Resource Focused on Incarceration, Housing, and HIV Promo Image

Content From: Office of HIV/AIDS Housing, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development 

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Office of HIV/AIDS Housing, which administers the Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS (HOPWA) program, in collaboration with the Technical Assistance Collaborative, Inc. and Videographer, Josh Hayes, recently released new resources titled, Homecoming: Life after IncarcerationHomecoming focuses on raising awareness of the myriad challenges and barriers people experience as they re-enter society after incarceration.

The resources showcase examples of organizations, subject matter experts, Federal and local officials, advocates, and community members who are leading the way in supporting the reentry population and feature the often-marginalized voices of people with lived experience. Homecoming has a secondary focus on the connection between HIV and incarceration and highlights the challenges and opportunities that exist in addressing the housing and health needs of people with HIV exiting jails and prisons.

  • Watch the documentary style video episodes which use the unique capabilities of film to humanize this topic. Each video is 20-40 minutes in length and includes interviews with post-release housing and services clients and providers, as well as researchers and policy makers in the field.
  • Explore the toolkit which includes a book with chapters that dive deeply into key topics related to incarceration, housing, and HIV.