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HIV-Related Measure Included Among New Leading Health Indicators Announced by HHS

Article / Review by on November 3, 2011 – 8:02 pmNo Comments

HIV-Related Measure Included Among New Leading Health Indicators Announced by HHS

This week, Dr. Howard Koh, our Assistant Secretary for Health, unveiled critical health priorities for the nation known as “Leading Health Indicators” (LHIs). I am very pleased to point out that these important national indicators include an HIV-related measure.

Healthy People 2020

Announced at the 138th Annual Meeting of the American Public Health Association, the LHIs are a smaller set of Healthy People 2020 objectives selected to communicate high-priority health issues and actions that can be taken to address them. Among the 26 prioritized LHIs organized under 12 topics is this measure: Persons living with HIV who know their serostatus.

Ronald Valdiserri, M.D., M.P.H., Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health, Infectious Diseases, and Director, Office of HIV/AIDS Policy, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services“The LHIs are a call to action in critical public health areas that demand our immediate attention,” said Dr. Koh. “We can solve the most pressing health problems in this country, and the LHIs prioritize our actions for a healthier future.”

The LHIs will be used to assess the health of the U.S. population over the next decade, to facilitate collaboration among diverse groups, and to motivate individuals and communities to take action to improve their health. The LHIs also will be used by policymakers and public health professionals to track progress in local communities as they work toward meeting these key national health goals.

Our efforts to work towards the National HIV/AIDS Strategy’s goals are strengthened and reinforced by the inclusion of this measure among the LHIs because the indicators help communicate high-priority health issues to the public and actions that can be taken to address them. The indicator sets a target of 90 percent of persons aged 13 years and older living with HIV who are aware of their HIV infection, working from a baseline of 79 percent in 2006. The nation’s efforts will be monitored by CDC’s HIV surveillance system.

The Healthy People 2020 Federal Interagency Workgroup worked in collaboration with the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences and the Secretary’s Advisory Committee on National Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Objectives for 2020 to develop the LHIs. They also align with and further promote key priorities across the Department and Federal government, including the National HIV/AIDS StrategyHHS Action Plan to Reduce Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities, and National Prevention Strategy.

By Ronald Valdiserri, M.D., M.P.H.
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health, Infectious Diseases
and Director, Office of HIV/AIDS Policy, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Read the full press release about the Leading Health Indicators.
Visit the Healthy People 2020 website for more details.


About Office of HIV/AIDS Policy
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

The Office of HIV/AIDS Policy, within the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (ASH), advises the Assistant Secretary for Health and senior U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) officials on: the appropriate and timely implementation and development of HIV/AIDS policy; the establishment of priorities; and the implementation of HIV/AIDS programs, activities, and initiatives across other HHS health agencies.

Reaching these goals will require that all of us—including our families, friends, schools, faith-based organizations, care providers and communities—take on the responsibility of fighting HIV/AIDS. In particular, our attitudes—about those most at-risk for HIV and those living with HIV—must be free of negative perceptions and stigma.

OHAP develops and supports  initiatives to promote HHS policies, programs, and resources, including:

  • Implementation of the National HIV/AIDS Strategyworking to achieve a more coordinated national response to the HIV epidemic by reducing HIV transmission, increasing access to HIV care and improving health outcomes, and reducing HIV-related disparities and health inequities.
  • Secretary’s Minority AIDS Initiative Fund (SMAIF)targeting  resources appropriated by Congress to support HIV prevention, care and treatment, outreach and education, capacity building, and technical assistance activities for racial and ethnic minorities in the United States who are at high-risk for, or living with, HIV/AIDS.
  • AIDS.govworks to increase HIV testing and enhance care among people most at-risk for, or living with, HIV, by using emerging communication strategies to provide access to information on various aspects of HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and care, including the National HIV/AIDS Strategy.
  • Implementation of the Action Plan for the Prevention, Care and Treatment of Viral Hepatitissupporting the ongoing implementation of the action plan by  identifying opportunities for enhanced interagency collaboration, leveraging existing resources, and strengthening partnerships inside and outside of government.
  • Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA)provides advice, information, and recommendations to the Secretary and to the President regarding programs, policies, and research priorities intended to promote effective prevention, care, and treatment of HIV disease.


* The above story is adapted from materials provided by USA Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
** More information at USA Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)


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