NASTAD Successes 2019-2020

By Stephen Lee May 20, 2020

As NASTAD’s new Executive Director, I am eager to reflect on the successes NASTAD has accomplished over the past year and look forward to what we plan on accomplishing in the future. For the last 17 years, I have worked in the HIV field by scaling up international and global efforts of HIV prevention, care, and treatment services with the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation and the U.S. Agency for International Development. I also served as an HIV primary care doctor in California. As someone who has dedicated their entire career to HIV prevention, care, and treatment, I know firsthand the commitment that is needed in order to end the epidemics. NASTAD staff and members have provided me with so much support as I transition into this position and I am very grateful to work within a leading public health organization which focuses on HIV, hepatitis, and infectious diseases.

NASTAD’s vision is a world free of HIV and viral hepatitis and its mission is to end the intersecting epidemics of HIV, viral hepatitis, and related conditions by strengthening domestic and global governmental public health through advocacy, capacity building, and social justice. From NASTAD’s origins at its inaugural organizational meeting in 1992 through its 29th Annual Meeting in 2020, NASTAD has continuously been committed to its mission and has served as the key resource for its members who serve as HIV and hepatitis public health officials in all 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, seven local jurisdictions receiving direct funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the U.S. Pacific Island jurisdictions.

NASTAD provides proven leadership in TA, CBA, advocacy, communications, policy analysis and development, data collection and analysis, and partnership networking to help the health department workforce and partners address high priority needs and improve their capacity to undertake integrated HIV and hepatitis prevention, surveillance, care, and treatment interventions. NASTAD informs health departments about national level policies, programs, and funding related to ending the epidemics. Located in Washington, DC, NASTAD is the pivotal organization to educate and inform policymakers and national partners about what is happening on the ground as jurisdictions make progress on HIV and hepatitis elimination activities. NASTAD participates in 35 coalitions and leads ten coalitions to ensure that health department priorities are represented in policy discussions. 

NASTAD also supports the health department workforce as it navigates the COVID-19 response and the impact that COVID-19 is having on the populations we serve who are living with or vulnerable to HIV and hepatitis. As strategies, policies, and guidance are ever evolving and community needs intensify for public health responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, NASTAD continues to inform, track, and communicate federal, state, and local policy changes and adjustments to the HIV and hepatitis personnel working in health department infectious disease programs. 

As NASTAD marks its 29th anniversary, we reflect on the key achievements made in 2019 – 2020 on behalf of NASTAD’s members and staff working in all state, territorial, city, and county HIV and hepatitis programs. In the past year, NASTAD has been committed to ensuring that there were sufficient funding, facilitative policies, and equitable access to high quality HIV, hepatitis, and drug user health prevention, care, and treatment services. NASTAD also worked to ensure that the leaders within these health department programs were supported to be successful, with a commitment to building that next generation of minority health leaders. Our successes are highlighted in these resource pages that focus on three key areas: Policy, Programs, and Workforce.

NASTAD’s efforts over the past year have been consistent and focused on its mission of ending the intersecting epidemics of HIV, hepatitis, and other infectious diseases. The expertise, professionalism, commitments, and resilience of NASTAD staff, members, and partners are the reason why this organization thrives. I look forward to another productive year and working alongside individuals who are dedicated to this shared cause.