American Prospect Examines U.S. HIV/AIDS Strategy
The American Prospect on Monday examined how a group of leaders from several U.S. HIV/AIDS organizations have formed a coalition, called the National AIDS Strategy, to mobilize increased support for a domestic HIV/AIDS plan. The coalition was "[s]purred" by the publication of a national HIV/AIDS strategy blueprint, which was written by Chris Collins and released last year by the Open Society Institute, according to the American Prospect. "We don't really have in the United States a comprehensive, cross-agency strategic plan to do better in our own domestic AIDS epidemic," Collins said, adding, "There's been a realization that, 'Wow, we're doing great things overseas, ... but we really haven't attended to the epidemic at home sufficiently.'"
NAS has drafted a list of seven requirements for a national HIV/AIDS strategy that includes improving outcomes through evidence-based programs, creating national targets, setting priorities and focusing on at-risk groups. "We have a lot of really successful, important HIV programming in this country," Collins said, adding, "But we're not using it to full effect to actually accomplish specific outcomes." NAS has organized a congressional briefing and secured funding from the MAC AIDS Fund for large-scale efforts. In addition, the coalition's Web site includes pledges of support from more than 250 organizations and 850 individuals.
According to Collins, the efficacy of a national HIV/AIDS strategy depends in large part on the support of presumptive presidential nominees Sens. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and John McCain (R-Ariz). Although "grassroots support is critical to the successful implementation of a national strategy, jumpstarting the effort will take leadership on a presidential level," according to the American Prospect (Green, American Prospect, 7/7).