National HIV/AIDS Strategy Participation

Americans Speak About HIV/AIDS: Community Meetings and Internet Forum

Americans Speak About HIV/AIDS’ was created to encourage community-based organizations, faith-based organizations, schools, businesses, research institutions and other groups to hold their own discussions about the strategic steps we need to take as a nation to respond to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. This is an opportunity to give recommendations on how best to achieve the goals of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy:

  • Reducing HIV incidence in the United States,
  • Increasing access to care, and
  • Decreasing HIV-related health disparities.

The NASW Policy on HIV and AIDS clearly states “the social work profession should take an active stand to mitigate the overwhelming psychological and social effects, including the inequality of access to health and mental health care and the lack of education and prevention in the United States and internationally."

The Policy Statement directly addresses the three goals of the National AIDS Strategy to reduce incidence, increase access, and decrease health disparities. Examples of supporting language include:

  • prevention strategies that focus on harm reduction, including publicly funded needle exchanges programs;
  • client/consumer access to professional counseling focused on holistic services; addressing disparities through culturally competent and linguistically client/patient centered services that includes the broadest range of services (e.g., housing, mental health services, substance use treatments, legal services); appropriate and sufficient public funds for research and care and treatment;
  • education of practitioners about evidence- based practices addressing prevention, testing, care and treatment;
  • continued public and private funding and advocacy for health and mental health provider services that address HIV/AIDS and related psycho-social issues within both national and international programming.

There are two ways to make your voices heard:

  • Attend a local National HIV/AIDS Community Discussion:

The Office of National AIDS Policy (ONAP) will hold a series of forums from late summer through the end of 2009 in various regions of the country with diverse communities affected by HIV/AIDS. These forums will provide opportunities for individuals to provide White House staff and other policy makers with their recommendations for achieving the President’s three goals for the NH/AS.

City/State/Territory and Date:

  • Columbia, SC (October 26, 2009);
  • Puerto Rico (rescheduled - TBD);
  • US Virgin Islands (November 9, 2009);
  • Jackson, MS (November 16, 2009);
  • Fort Lauderdale, FL (November 20, 2009);
  • New York, NY (December 4, 2009).

Participate in the “Call to Action” on-line

The " Call to Action" started on October 2, 2009. The ONAP website will receive public input submissions until November 13, 2009.

Social Work Speaks, National Association of Social Workers Policy Statements 2009-2012, 8th Edition, HIV and AIDS, pp. 171-176