The Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA) held its 64th annual meeting in Jackson, Mississippi on July 8-9, which included a panel presentation on “Ending the HIV Epidemic: A Plan for America.” During the meeting, Brett Giroir, MD, ADM, Assistant Secretary for Health for the Department of Health and Human Services, announced that his office is standing up a new team of highly qualified U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps (USPHS) officers to support the “Ending the HIV Epidemic” initiatives in Atlanta, Dallas, and Los Angeles. This team – three officers in each region – is part of the Corps’ “Prevention through Active Community Engagement” or “PACE” program. The officers will work collaboratively with the HHS interagency leadership spearheading the “Ending the HIV Epidemic” effort, as well as with other federal and non-federal partners, to develop targeted, public health interventions specifically geared toward the communities they are trying to reach.
This PACE effort is part of a larger effort, “Operation Change the Map,” which is led by Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health, RADM Sylvia Trent-Adams. “Operation Change the Map” more globally refers to HHS’s plan to target zip codes inordinately impacted by certain health conditions (including HIV, hepatitis C, HPV, hypertension, diabetes, and other issues), to transform their health outcomes by increasing access, diagnosis, treatment, and awareness in these vulnerable areas.