December 1 is World AIDS Day. Observed in countries around the world as an awareness and remembrance event, World AIDS Day is also a World Health Organization (WHO) global health campaign, focused on sharing knowledge, preventing further spread of the disease, supporting those living with HIV/AIDS, and advancing research.
The Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) is also observing World AIDS Day. HRSA supports HIV/AIDS initiatives in the U.S. and around the world, through the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program (RWHAP) and the Global HIV/AIDS Program. RWHAP supports domestic HIV/AIDS programs, including programs supported by a DSFederal technical assistance contract—Building Futures—which works to improve services for providers serving Youth Living with HIV (YLWH), with the ultimate goal of improving health outcomes for these clients.
On the international front, the Global Technical Assistance Program (G-TAP) strives to ensure that grantee programs funded by HRSA meet their programmatic objectives. Many programs, which are jointly funded by HRSA and the President’s Emergency Fund for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), provide diagnostic support and technical assistance (TA). TA is wide-ranging, encompassing financial and operational oversight, as well as clinical reviews.
DSFederal serves G-TAP by developing procedural manuals and other materials to help this new program solidify its organization and clarify its direction within HRSA. We also support site visits during which clinical experts offer technical assistance to providers to improve services. For Building Futures, we assisted with 20 site visits in 2017, aiding RWHAP’s efforts to develop TA strategies that can serve any RWHAP-funded program. By visiting grantee sites and gathering information, we are helping RWHAP identify best practices, understand lessons learned, and develop a universal toolkit for programs that serve YLWH. As Dianne Welsh, Vice President for Management Solutions, explains, DSFederal plays a “strictly supportive” role in HRSA’s efforts to combat HIV/AIDS. We are proud to provide this behind-the-scenes assistance to advance HRSA’s domestic and global health efforts.
Though HRSA’s RWHAP and the Global HIV/AIDS Program serve different populations and support different services, they share a commitment to working toward “an AIDS-free generation.” On World AIDS Day, we remember the many people around the world who have fallen victim to this global pandemic, and reaffirm our dedication to HRSA’s mission.