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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

ANNUAL MEETINGS APPROVE HIV STRATEGY, PRESENTED TO GOVERNMENT LEADERS

Annual Meetings of Beyond AIDS, and of the Beyond AIDS Foundation Board, on October 19, 2014 were based at the Club Quarters Hotel in Washington, DC, with call-ins from around the country.

James Sherry, Adriana Andaluz, Ron Hattis, Frank Judson, and Marsha Martin (L to R) at Beyond AIDS meeting
 LEGISLATION

Legislative successes were presented, including three bills passed and signed into law in California; a fourth passed the legislature but was vetoed. For more details, see the report on recent legislation. In New York State, regulations were approved that expanded the ability to test for HIV without written consent, except in correctional facilities, satisfying most of the concerns of our organization about limitations of a previous law limited to rapid testing. Beyond AIDS will also look into cutbacks in HIV prevention at the state level that occurred during the recession and have not been restored.

RESEARCH

A progress report on ongoing data analysis of deficiencies of partner notification in California was presented by Deanna Stover (calling in from California). This was a project that had involved the assistance of Beyond AIDS fellow Jyoti Sapkota.

AWARDS

The Foundation Board meeting each year considers which individual or agency deserves to receive the prestigious Beyond AIDS "Nettie" award for setting an outstanding example in HIV/AIDS control and prevention. The Board this time selected Dr. Bernard Branson, an expert on the use of laboratory testing for HIV surveillance and prevention, who is retiring from a career at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Board also approved plaques for California Assembly Member Rob Bonta, and his Legislative Director, Amy Alley, in recognition of their dedicated work and persistence in passing Beyond AIDS-supported legislation to provide condoms in prisons.

HIV PREVENTION STRATEGY AND POLICY

A plan for revising and updating the National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS), which had been developed by the Scientific Committee, was officially approved by the Foundation Board. This plan is posted on the Beyond AIDS Web site, along with a comparison with the 2010 NHAS and the 2013 Presidential Initiative on the HIV Care Continuum. The current NHAS was developed prior to the incorporation of "treatment as prevention" as a major part of national strategy, so it is not up to day. The Beyond AIDS plan also includes expanded surveillance to help track and assist patients and providers in initiating and maintaining effective treatment that can almost eliminate HIV transmission.
Drs. Frank Judson, Ron Valdiserri, and Ron Hattis 
at HHS headquarters, Washington, DC
Ron Valdiserri, Timothy Harrison from HHS (L),
                       Ron Hattis, Leith States from Beyond AIDS (R)


The following day, October 20, a Beyond AIDS delegation consisting of President Ron Hattis, Board members Franklyn Judson and Adriana Andaluz Marsha Martin, and Leith States (who had helped to develop the plan as a fellowship project) presented this plan at the office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health, Dr. Ron Valdiserri, at Health and Human Services (HHS) headquarters. Other participants from HHS included Kaye Hayes, Timothy Harrison, and Andrew Forsythe. The Beyond AIDS delegation requested that the organization's proposals be passed on to the Office of National AIDS Policy, the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), and CDC.

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