Mr. Carl Schmid, of The AIDS Institute (TAI), made comments on two topics CHAC discussed during the meeting. First, TAI acknowledges the importance of implementing a reauthorized CARE Act in 2007. A delay in implementing the new law in 2008 would create major funding disruptions in several states and local jurisdictions. HIV case counts must be included in 2007 according to the legislation and some states do not have HIV case counts that have been accepted by CDC.
Second, TAI strongly supports CDCís revised HIV testing recommendations that call for routine voluntary HIV testing in healthcare settings, but certain aspects of the guidelines should be addressed. The broader HIV/AIDS community should be included in CDCís implementation plans for the revised HIV testing recommendations. Written information on HIV should be developed and disseminated because the guidance does not require prevention counseling through informed consent. Other components that would be included in consent and post-test counseling processes should be widely communicated to constituents.
TAI is pleased that CDCís revised HIV testing recommendations reflect its previous suggestions on opt-out testing, the provision of basic HIV information, and the distribution of materials in multiple languages. TAI is interested in learning about the implementation plans for the revised HIV testing recommendations and looks forward to collaborating with CDC in this effort.
Ms. Thelma King Thiel, of Hepatitis Foundation International (HFI), urged CDC and HRSA to target prevention, care and treatment efforts to persons <16 years of age. The Strategic Plan should describe primary prevention and educational interventions to encourage young persons to adopt healthy lifestyle behaviors and strongly recommend implementation of these efforts in schools. HFIís previous and ongoing training sessions, evaluations and other joint projects with diverse groups at federal, state, local and private levels have shown that hepatitis testing would save healthcare dollars.
Ms. King Thiel particularly thanked CDC for assisting HFI in developing and widely distributing school-based products. She confirmed that HFI would continue to collaborate with CDC, SAMHSA, schools and other organizations to widely promote primary prevention among youth.
Dr. Marsha Martin, of the Washington, DC Administration for HIV Policy and Programs (AHPP), informed CHAC that the majority of HIV testing occurs in privately-financed medical settings. However, no efforts are being made in the private sector to assist grantees in collecting data to manage HIV screening and coordinate care.
The HIV epidemic cannot be appropriately managed unless both public and private systems are included in a coordinated effort for purposes of data, care and other components. For example, AHPP has no data on persons who are screened by healthcare maintenance organizations, student health centers and other private healthcare settings because CDC only requires reports of HIV-positive results from private facilities.
Dr. Martin urged CDC and HRSA to make stronger efforts to assist grantees in integrating data from both public and private sources. She provided CHAC with background materials on AHPPís campaign that was launched to routinize HIV screening.
With no further discussion or business brought before CHAC, Mr. Milan recessed the meeting at 4:40 p.m. on November 2006.