The Plan has served as a tremendously valuable tool for CDC. CDC uses the Plan as a living document to link HIV prevention programs, activities, and budget allocations to specific goals and objectives. CDC also uses the Plan as a guide in identifying new and expanded programs and initiatives, establishing priorities, directing and targeting resources, and ensuring that objectives are appropriately weighted and prioritized. CDC holds an annual retreat for senior staff to review and discuss activities and resources related to all 27 objectives under the Plan goals. The top ten objectives are also prioritized during the retreat to guide funding and program activities with a particular focus on populations and risk groups.
The Plan has had positive impacts on CDC programs. Because of the Planís goals, the focus on persons at highest risk of transmitting HIV and becoming infected was enhanced. Prevention services were prioritized for persons living with HIV. CDC used the Advancing HIV Prevention initiative to develop new strategies to diagnose HIV infection. Strong linkages were established for prevention and quality medical care services. Rapid testing was promoted in both clinical and non-clinical settings. Behavioral interventions are now more effective and evidence-based through the Prevention Research Synthesis (PRS) and Diffusion of Effective Behavioral Interventions (DEBI) projects.
CDC developed six national surveillance systems to monitor the complete pathway of HIV in the areas of behaviors, incidence, HIV cases, prevalence, morbidity, and AIDS cases and deaths. In addition, CDC developed the Program Evaluation and Monitoring System (PEMS) to better monitor and evaluate HIV prevention programs that are implemented by community-based organizations (CBOs) and health departments. PEMS assists CDC in identifying what services are provided, the populations receiving services, behavioral and service utilization outcomes reported by clients, the reach of programs to target populations, and the relationship between exposure to services and changes in behavioral outcomes.
The Planís focus on eliminating racial and ethnic disparities in rates of HIV infections has led to better targeting of prevention approaches. CDC has directly funded minority and minority service community-based organizations for HIV prevention in communities of color since FYí99. From 2002-2006, CDC awarded funds to 658 minority CBOs; state, local, surveillance, research and evaluation activities; minority fellowship programs; and communications, partnerships and policy development projects to increase HIV prevention in communities of color. CDC also formed an internal work group to address the disproportionate impact of HIV/AIDS among African Americans, focusing on assessing current activities and identifying unfilled gaps. This effort resulted in CDC convening three consultations in 2005-2006 with African Americans, African American MSM, and faith-based organizations. CDC is developing a comprehensive action plan to address the ongoing HIV/AIDS crisis in African American communities.