APA Staff Moderates Discussion of Behavioral Health and HIV Prevention

On Aug. 2, 2012, Leo Rennie of APA’s Public Interest Government Relations Office moderated a panel discussion addressing the impact of behavioral health and HIV prevention on public health. The session took place as part of a Health and Human Services (HHS) regional meeting focused on the National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS), behavioral health and HIV prevention, and federal initiatives in support of the NHAS. Panelists described best practice programs in Philadelphia, Pa., and Wilmington, Del., and explored integration of behavioral health and HIV prevention in community settings. Rennie highlighted the APA resolution on Combination Biomedical and Behavioral Approaches to Optimize HIV Prevention, explaining its implications for frontline service providers now grappling with emerging biomedical HIV prevention options, such as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), microbicides and treatment as prevention. Rennie also discussed policy considerations, as highlighted in the PI-GRO fact sheet Combined HIV Prevention and Treatment, including recommendations to federal agencies and Congress to promote integration of HIV prevention and behavioral health, as well as to foster a robust research agenda in this area.  

Several panelists represented federal agencies, including the:

  • HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary of Health (OASH), Office of  HIV/AIDS and Infectious Disease Policy (OHAIDP)

  • Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

  • National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, TB, and HIV Prevention (NCHHSTP), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

A psychologist, Marc D. Richman, PhD, assistant director for community mental health and addictions services, Division of Substance Use and Mental Health, State of Delaware, also served on the panel. Dr. Richman also is a former president of the Delaware Psychological Association.