American Public Health Association
800 I Street, NW • Washington, DC 20001-3710
(202) 777-APHA • Fax: (202) 777-2534 •

Section Newsletter
Winter 2005

Greetings from the Chair

As I write this we are all fresh from the Washington Annual Meeting where the HIV/AIDS Section presented a stellar scientific program and where we enjoyed several opportunities to both conduct section business and socialize with our colleagues. During this annual meeting we learned that our Section remains among the fastest-growing of all APHA sections, and again many individuals stepped forward to volunteer their talents and skills.

I believe this growth and interest reflect the continuing challenges we face in responding to the HIV epidemic, nationally and internationally, and in providing access to prevention and care services. Among the challenges for us as a Section will be how to guide APHA in effectively advocating for these issues (especially as we face the reauthorization of the Ryan White CARE Act in 2005 and what appear to be several very lean upcoming federal budget cycles), how to effectively engage and communicate with the larger HIV community, and how to better integrate a larger number of volunteers into the work of the Section.

We are gearing up for an active 2005. Policy will be foremost on our agenda, under the capable leadership of Susan Fulmer as Policy Chair and Kathye Gorosh who continues as our Action Board representative and a member of the APHA Joint Policy Committee. Volunteers to provide input through the policy committee are always welcome. Planning for our 2005 scientific session is under way, lead by Scott Rhodes as Program Planning Chair. The call for papers will be issued in mid-December with a Feb. 11 due date, and we anticipate receiving over 400 abstracts. We are soliciting abstract reviewers to help us put together another outstanding program for New Orleans in 2005. In addition to the scientific program, Carlos Velazquez, our Social Chair, is hard at work thinking about ways we can socialize with our colleagues during the New Orleans meeting, while Titi Oladosu-Okoror, our International Workgroup Chair, dialogues with the International Health Section for ways of continuing our valuable collaboration with our friends in IH, and France Thuy Nguyen, our Student Representative, helps us identify ways we can more effectively involve our student members in our 2005 program and activities.

So, in addition to preparing your abstract, we hope Section members will visit our Web site at <> and give serious consideration to where they can make a contribution to the HIV/AIDS Section and to APHA. On our Web site you will find a list of committees and chairs. Please drop the chair a line to get involved. There is a lot of energy, enthusiasm, and excitement in our Section, and we hope that you will join us and share in it.

The HIV/AIDS Section Knows How to Party…..Safely: Our 2004 Socials

The HIV/AIDS Section was pleased to host Terje Anderson, Executive Director of the National Association of People With AIDS, at our Tuesday evening awards, held at the Washington Convention Center and attended by 130 Section members and friends. The Section was also very happy that Cornelius Baker, Execute Director of the Whitman-Walker Clinic, was able to join 100 members and friends at our Sunday evening social held at the Juste Lounge. We value our relationships with community-based organizations and are grateful to these two outstanding community leaders for their participation in 2004 Section activities.

The Section also expresses its gratitude to Christopher Bates who served as Social Chair for 2004. When he’s not planning parties (or shopping at Costco for them), Christopher serves as the Acting Director of the Office of HIV/AIDS Policy for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Call for Abstracts 2005

The HIV/AIDS Section invites Abstracts and Full Session Proposals presenting the results of scientific research, program evaluations, and community-based interventions related to HIV/AIDS for the 133rd American Public Health Association Meeting and Exposition to be held on Nov. 5-9, 2005 in New Orleans. The theme of the 2005 meeting is Evidence Based Policy and Practice, and Abstracts and Full Session Proposals that reflect this theme are particularly encouraged.

Abstracts may be submitted for oral, poster, or roundtable sessions. The following general topics are areas of interest for the 2005 program, although other HIV/AIDS-related topics also will be accepted for sessions:

• Behavioral, Psychosocial, and Cultural Aspects of HIV/AIDS (e.g., health education, health communication, sexual behavior, social environment)
• Community Planning, Programming, and Interventions
• Economic, Policy, and Financing Analyses
• Epidemiology and Surveillance
• Health Care Delivery, Services, and Providers
• Innovative Research Methods and Interventions
• International HIV Prevention and Care Policies, Interventions, Evaluations, and Studies
• Medication Access, Adherence, and Adverse Effects
• Mental Health and Substance Use (e.g., depression, severe mental illness, drug abuse aspects)
• Other HIV/AIDS Topic Areas
• Populations Living with or at risk for HIV/AIDS (e.g., racial/ethnic minorities, adolescents, aging, LBGT, co-infected with hepatitis C, homeless, incarcerated, rural, veterans, women)
• Prevention Research and Practice
• Program Planning, Implementation, and Evaluation for Prevention, Treatment and/or Care
• Research on Positive Living (e.g., complementary therapies, nutrition, exercise, workplace, sexuality)
• Student Work

Submission and Review: All Abstracts must be submitted electronically using the APHA Web site by Feb. 8, 2005. Late, fax and e-mail submissions cannot be accepted. APHA will send e-mail notices of acceptance or rejection to abstract authors by June 1, 2005.

All Abstracts are subject to masked peer review by at least three reviewers. Please remove any references to a specific institution in the body of the abstract to permit masked review and ensure fairness. By submitting an abstract proposal, the author(s) agree that, if accepted, the paper will be presented as scheduled.

Structured Abstract Format: Abstracts should be submitted in a structured format. Please use one of the following two formats:

• Background: study objectives, hypothesis, or a description of the problem.
• Methods: study design, including a description of participants, procedures, measures, and appropriate statistical analyses.
• Results: specific results in summary form.
• Conclusions: description of the main outcome of the study.
An alternative format, suited for abstracts about policy, programs, interventions, and other types of research evaluations, may be used:
• Issues: a short summary of the issue(s) addressed by authors.
• Description: description of the project, experience, service, or advocacy program.
• Lessons Learned: a brief description of the results of the project.
• Recommendations: a brief statement of next steps.

Review Criteria: Standardized criteria will be used to evaluate all abstract submissions. These criteria include innovation and relevance, approach/methodology, contribution to science and/or practice, and results/lessons learned.

Final Program: The final program will be based on peer-reviewer evaluations of the abstract proposals with consideration for available time and space, the program theme, diversity of topics, and any speakers invited by the HIV/AIDS Section leadership to participate in the 2005 program.

Only listed authors who are both APHA members and registered for the Annual Meeting may present accepted work. Neither APHA nor the HIV/AIDS Section provides any financial support for author attendance at the Annual Meeting.

Student Presentations: Presentations by students are encouraged. Although completed research studies are preferred, students may submit work-in-progress for consideration.
Instructions for Full Session Proposals:

Submissions of Proposals For Full Sessions (90 minutes in length) may be submitted. In addition to the electronic online submission of an individual abstract for EACH of the 3-5 papers to be included in a Session, a one-page overview of the proposed Session MUST be submitted directly to the planner via electronic mail to: <SRhodes@WFUBMC.Edu>. This one-page overview should include:

• Overall session title
• Name of the lead facilitator and the contact person for the Session
• Brief overview of the rationale for the Session
• List (in presentation order) of the individual abstracts to be organized into this Session, complete with titles and time allocated for each presentation and any discussion periods.

Please note that each individual abstract to be included in a Session must be submitted through the APHA electronic abstract submission process. In the "Comments to Organizers" box for each abstract submission, the authors should indicate that the abstract is to be considered as part of the Proposed Session (indicated by Session title).

All abstracts are reviewed on their individual merit, and the acceptance of a panel submission is not a guarantee that all abstracts submitted for that session will be accepted or that they will all be scheduled together. Unless instructed otherwise, the HIV/AIDS Section Program Committee will consider the individual abstracts from any rejected Full Session for possible presentation in Abstract sessions. Therefore, an abstract submitted as part of a Full Session should not also be submitted as an individual contributed abstract to any other section, interest group or caucus.

Questions: For questions about submissions or the Annual Meeting, please contact the 2005 HIV/AIDS Section Program Chair, Scott D. Rhodes, at <> or (336)713-5080.

Program Planner Contact Information:

Scott D. Rhodes, PhD, MPH, CHES
Department of Public Health Sciences
Wake Forest University Health Sciences
Section on Social Sciences and Health Policy
Medical Center Boulevard
Winston-Salem, NC 27157-1063
Phone: (336) 713-5080
Fax: (336) 713-5088


Michael Reece, PhD, MPH
Department of Applied Health Science
Indiana University
Bloomington IN 47405
(812) 855-0068


Scott R. Smith, RPh, PhD
Center for Outcomes & Evidence
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
540 Gaither Road
Rockville, MD 20850
(301) 427-1511

Concerns Over Abstinence-Only Education Programs: The Waxman Report

On Dec. 1, 2004 (World AIDS Day), a report prepared for Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.), entitled The Content of Federally Funded Abstinence-Only Education Programs (also referred to as The Waxman Report), was released criticizing abstinence-only-until-marriage curricula. The report cited examples where 11 out of 13 of the most commonly used abstinence-only-until-marriage curricula used fear and shame, blurred religion and science, perpetuated gender role stereotypes and contained medical misinformation. For example, one program reportedly teaches students that HIV/AIDS can be transmitted though tears and sweat; body fluids that have never been shown to transmit HIV. Many other curricula reportedly attempt to discourage young people from using condoms and other forms of contraception by distorting information about their efficacy. More than two-thirds of these programs/curricula were funded through Special Projects of Regional and National Significance-Community Based Abstinence Education (SPRANS-CBAE), which is the largest federal funding stream for abstinence-only-until-marriage programs.

On Jan. 18, 2005, Rep. Waxman and 19 other members of Congress requested that the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) review the Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) processes for determining the accuracy and evaluating the effectiveness of "abstinence-only" education programs. In particular, the GAO was requested to "determine whether HHS has postponed releasing any information on its evaluation of 'abstinence-only' programs from 2004 to 2006" and "if this delay did occur, assess whether it was justified."

Currently, abstinence-only-until-marriage programs are slated to receive $167 million in federal funding during the 2005 fiscal year.

To read the entire report, click the PDF link below:

Related Files:

Your Input is Needed!

Feb. 14, 2005 is APHA's deadline for proposed new policy statements, on which the Governing Council will vote at the Annual Meeting in New Orleans this November. These new statements will be posted in March 2005 for online review by the entire APHA membership [likely to be located in the "green area" on APHA's home page, <>, under the area "Legislation, Advocacy and Policy" and probably listed as "2005 Proposed Policy Statements," or something close to that]. All members are encouraged to review these statements and submit feedback --- however the HIV Section would like to coordinate our feedback to have as much impact as possible when the statements are reviewed by the Joint Policy Committee. If there is a policy that catches your attention based on your interest and/or expertise, please review it for accuracy, inclusiveness as well as the recommendations. The guidelines for reviewing the statements will also be posted online.

Your comments can go directly to <>, BUT, the HIV Section would appreciate a copy of what you send OR, please feel free to send your comments directly to us and we will bundle the feedback and submit them. The deadline for submitting comments is April 8, 2005. If you have any questions, or if you would like to send the HIV Section your response(s), please e-mail either Susan Fulmer at <> or Kathye Gorosh at <>.

As I'm sure we all know, this is a critical year for HIV advocacy – at the federal, state and local levels. Funding and policy changes will affect everyone – so please watch for ways that you can be involved – whether it's through APHA or others asking us to write letters, place calls, sign on to letters, or participate in constituent visits. As we've learned, one vote can make a difference! Here's to a productive 2005!

WANTED: Booth Coordinator

The HIV/AIDS Section is looking for someone to take charge of the Section booth at the 2005 Annual Meeting in New Orleans. This volunteer position would involve setting up the booth, scheduling volunteers for staffing, and dismantling the booth at the end of the Annual Meeting. Interested? Contact Michael Case, Section Chair, at <> for more information.

Interested in becoming Newsletter Editor for the HIV/AIDS Section?

The HIV/AIDS Section is seeking an APHA member interested in taking over responsibilities of the newsletter editor beginning during the 133rd Annual Meeting in New Orleans. This is a great opportunity to get involved in the HIV/AIDS Leadership Group and Section!

For more information regarding newsletter editor responsibilities, etc., please contact Lisa Lindley at <>.