Thursday, July 28, 2011

Federal Leads Review Progress at One-Year Anniversary
HIV Policy & Programs July 27, 2011

By Ronald Valdiserri, M.D., M.P.H., Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health, Infectious Diseases, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

On the eve of the first anniversary of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS), representatives of the six federal agencies tasked by the President with lead responsibility for implementing NHAS gathered for one of our regular meetings and shared updates on implementation progress. Chairing the meeting, the Assistant Secretary for Health, Dr. Howard Koh, praised the participants for the progress being made within and across Departments and for the personal dedication of each of these representatives to bringing the Strategy to life not only within their respective agencies, but also across the nation....

Department of Labor – A recent DOL-convened roundtable explored how to improve employment opportunities and outcomes and reduce stigma and discrimination for people living with HIV/AIDS, reported Mr. Dylan Orr, Special Assistant/Advisor to the Assistant Secretary for Disability Employment Policy. In an effort to better coordinate related federal efforts, many of the other lead federal agencies were involved in the roundtable (including the Departments of Justice, Housing and Urban Development, and Health and Human Services, and the Social Security Administration) as well as the Equal Opportunity Commission, the Department of Education, the White House Office of National AIDS Policy, and a number of HIV/AIDS service providers, employers, disability employment advocates, and members of the HIV/AIDS community. On another front, DOL’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has launched a system for prioritizing and fast-tracking investigations of employment discrimination complaints based on HIV/AIDS status. OFCCP has also developed public education materials on employment rights under Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act with emphasis on HIV/AIDS employment discrimination. These materials have been distributed to OFCCP’s field offices and will also be distributed to stakeholders and community groups....

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