Monday, February 1, 2016

Big Picture - January 2016

Happy 2016! This post is part of a monthly series that summarizes what's been going on in the Ryan White Planning Council, HIV Prevention Planning Group, and their subcommittees. To view meeting materials and presentations, please visit or check out our SlideShare account.

Finance Committee
Chris Chu from the AIDS Activities Coordinating Office (AACO) presented AACO’s quarterly underspending report to the Finance Committee. The EMA has spent 14% less than the Planning Council allocated for the past 9 months. Transportation in New Jersey had particularly low spending.

AACO requested that they be allowed to use the underspent funds for other services, like Food Bank and Medications. The Finance Committee approved the request.

Positive Committe
The Positive Committee will be inviting representatives from the LGBT Elder Initiative (LGBTEI) to their April meeting. They will discuss topics like mental health, nutrition, and exercise.

Briana gave a presentation about the National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS) in Philadelphia. You can read more about the NHAS here. The new NHAS targets gay and bisexual men, Black women and men, Latino men and women, people who inject drugs, youth, and transgender women. These are the groups most affected by HIV and AIDS in the US. The Office of HIV Planning Epidemiologic Profile gives more information on all these groups in Philadelphia. You can find the Epi Profile on our website.

Needs Assessment Committee
The Needs Assessment Committee has been working on a transportation survey for the past several months. They’re putting some finishing touches on the survey and will be sending it out to local service providers soon.

Nominations Committee
The Nominations Committee is still looking for new Planning Council members. The Planning Council needs members from hospital or health care planning agencies, state Medicaid and Part B agencies, Part D grantees, Federally Recognized Indian Tribes, and people co-infected with Hepatitis B or C. If you are anyone you know is interested in applying to be a member, please visit our website for an application.

The Nominations Committee is hosting a Planning Council social after the meeting on February 11th. Please bring your friends! There will be food, activities, and a raffle for some awesome door prizes.

HPG/Planning Council combined meeting
The HPG and Planning Council combined their meetings this month. They had some guests talk about HIV and Aging (Terri Clark from ActionAIDS, and Kate Clark and Katie Young from the Philadelphia Corporation for Aging). Older people are too often left out when we talk about sexual health and risk. Many people living with HIV and AIDS in the US are over the age of 50. You can view the presentation here.

Dr. Robert Winn from the Mazzoni Center also came by to talk about their PrEP program. The Mazzoni Center had 500 patients taking PrEP in 2015. They’re working hard to get the word out about PrEP. They’ll be opening a free clinic at the Washington West Project in the future.

AACO presented their underspending report. The Planning Council voted to approve AACO’s request to use underspent funds for other categories.

Comp Planning
The Comp Planning Committee brainstormed their perfect HIV and AIDS service system. Some things they’d like to see are needle exchange programs, comprehensive sex education, and campaigns to reduce the stigma of HIV and AIDS. Co-chairs from the RWPC and the HPG will meet at an Integrated Executive Committee meeting to discuss these ideas.

Nicole gave the group some handouts about structural interventions (you can view meeting packets on our website). Structural interventions change the context in which people make choices about health behaviors. Providing people with food and housing are structural interventions. Many people living with HIV and AIDS in Philadelphia need housing, and there isn’t much available. The Comp Planning Committee is going to continue discussing this at their next meeting.

Want to get involved? To learn more, follow the links in this post, attend one of the meetings listed on our calendar, or email If you have questions, you can also call us at 215-574-6760.