In 1993, President Clinton created the Office of National AIDS Policy (ONAP) to provide a national focus and direction for the U.S. government's response to HIV and AIDS. More recently, President Clinton asked ONAP to develop a comprehensive National AIDS Strategy that would detail the Federal government's long-term approach to this epidemic. The National AIDS Strategy has been developed by the Clinton Administration to capitalize upon progress already made in fighting the epidemic and to catalyze collaborative efforts among Federal Agencies, communities, State and local governments, businesses, schools, churches, families, and individuals.

This document is a snapshot of where we are as a Nation and where we need to go in achieving these national goals and in ultimately ending the epidemic. It summarizes some of the key accomplishments of our Nation's scientific and public health professionals and identifies key areas for further effort. In addition, the appendices to this report lay out, for the first time, detailed descriptions of the objectives, goals, and budgets of all Agencies involved in the Federal response to HIV in six major areas of HIV policy: prevention, research, care and services, civil rights, international activities, and translation of research advances into practice.

The National AIDS Strategy sets forth a framework and identifies opportunities for progress that will serve as the foundation for the Administration's response to the epidemic in the years ahead. An implementation process for defining specifically how to reach these goals will be a joint effort of the Interdepartmental Task Force on HIV and AIDS, the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS, the private sector, and the community. These formal and systematic consultations will be integral to identifying and implementing solutions. Moreover, the National AIDS Strategy is intended to be a living document that requires regular updating and adjustment as goals are reached and new challenges emerge.

The development of a National AIDS Strategy is a historic undertaking. No previous Administration has undertaken so broad a planning effort that: (1) involves all Federal Departments and Agencies that engage in HIV-related efforts; (2) reaches out to communities and the private sector; and (3) identifies areas where the Federal government should focus its efforts.

The National AIDS Strategy was drafted with guidance from, and in consultation with, numerous groups and individuals. Within the Federal government, this effort began at the Agency level. Members of the Interdepartmental Task Force on HIV and AIDS (IDTF), representing all Federal Agencies involved in the national response to HIV and AIDS, identified their HIV-related goals, objectives, and highlighted areas requiring special attention. Individuals living with HIV and AIDS, their families, friends, loved ones, and care givers made vital contributions to this Strategy. Numerous non-governmental groups and organizations have also been consulted in the course of developing this document, including the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS, participants in the White House Conference on HIV and AIDS, the ONAP-sponsored regional briefings, patient and consumer advocates, health care professionals, community-based organizations, educators, religious leaders, and business leaders. Earlier insights provided by the National Commission on AIDS, the Institute of Medicine and National Research Council, the General Accounting Office, and the Office of Technology Assessment also have been extraordinarily helpful in developing the National AIDS Strategy.

While this Strategy focuses on the Federal government's response, it should be additionally noted that many non-governmental organizations, such as private sector philanthropies and businesses, labor groups, local communities, and religious organizations have worked together and also make significant contributions to the fight against HIV. These collaborations have strengthened the effectiveness of Federally-funded initiatives, created powerful partnerships between the public and private sectors, and generated steady increases in volunteerism and charitable giving, stretching scarce Federal resources and improving the climate in which we do our work. The National AIDS Strategy provides a foundation for the continuing public-private partnerships that are essential to our success in ending this epidemic.

We face great challenges as a Nation. We are also facing great opportunities. Together, with steadfast commitment, courage, and leadership, we will win the battle against HIV and AIDS.

Patricia S. Fleming
[Former] National AIDS Policy Director


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