National HIV/AIDS Strategy

The National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS) and the NASW Chapter Partnership Initiative: Building the Professional Social Work Response through Treatment and Advocacy

  • "Social Work Practice: Engaging Individuals, Communities, and Systems in Support of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy" (July 2015) 
  • "NHAS: From Policy to Practice" - Human Rights Update 2012
  • "NHAS and NASW Chapter Partnership Initiatives" – Impact on Practice 

To support implementation of the NHAS, agencies within the Federal Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) (e.g., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA)) created the Twelve Cities Project focusing on the 12 metropolitan areas most severely affected by the HIV epidemic.

NASW has received funding to support SAMHSA’s implementation of the NHAS plan to expand the knowledge and capacity of mental health service providers- particularly social workers - as they work to address the mental health and psychosocial issues confronting people infected and affected by HIV and AIDS. The NASW HIV/AIDS Spectrum: Mental Health Training and Education of Social Workers Project administers a newly funded NASW Chapter HIV/AIDS Partnership Initiative.

The NASW Chapter HIV/AIDS Partnership Initiative is designed to target the 12 jurisdictions identified in the NHAS with designated NASW Chapters: New York City Chapter; California Chapter (Los Angeles and San Francisco); Metro-DC Chapter (Washington, DC); Georgia Chapter (Atlanta); Texas Chapter (Houston and Dallas); Maryland Chapter (Baltimore); Illinois Chapter (Chicago); Florida Chapter (Miami); Pennsylvania Chapter (Philadelphia); and Puerto Rico Chapter (San Juan). In collaboration with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 12-cities funded health and behavioral health departments, community based organizations, and other Chapter partners and associates, the funding will sponsor trainings and workshops through the Chapter continuing education and professional development capacities. In addition to the 12-cities targeted funding, the NASW Chapter HIV/AIDS Partnership Initiative also includes funding to continue to work with other NASW chapters in areas with emerging needs (as identified by CDC data).

In the first year (Oct. 1, 2011 - Sept. 30, 2012), the following chapters participated in the partnership: Maryland, Texas, California, Illinois, DC Metro, and Florida. Additionally, the Louisiana, North Carolina and Mississippi chapters were identified as having communities with emerging needs and participated in the partnership.

In the second year (Oct.1, 2012 – Sept. 30, 2013), the following chapters participated in the partnership: New York City, California, and Texas. Additionally, the Alabama and South Carolina chapters were identified as having communities with emerging needs and participate in the partnership.

The third year (Oct. 1, 2013 – Sept. 30, 2014), the following chapters are participating in the partnership: Puerto Rico, Georgia, and Pennsylvania. Additionally, the Arkansas, Colorado, Indiana, and Virginia chapters were identified as having communities with emerging needs and participate in the partnership.


Staff at the NASW National office working on this project are Dina Kastner, Senior Field Organizer ( and Evelyn Tomaszewski, Senior Policy Associate.

This project was covered in the NASW News February 2012 issue.

To read an evaluation overview of the workshops, see Policy to Practice: Evaluation of mobilizing the social work workforce in support of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy (2012)

"The vision of the NHAS is that the United States will become a place where new HIV infections are rare and when they do occur, every person, regardless of age, gender, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity or socio-economic circumstance will have unfettered access to high quality, life-extending care, free from stigma and discrimination." — President Barack Obama, 2010