National Recommendations for Prioritizing Mental and Behavioral Health in Federal Implementation Efforts

Vision for the National HIV/AIDS Strategy

The United States will become a place where new HIV infections are rare and when they do occur, every person, regardless of age, gender, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity or socio-economic circumstance, will have unfettered access to high quality, life-extending care, free from stigma and discrimination.

Statement of Support

The American Psychological Association (APA) is the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States and the world's largest association of psychologists. APA's membership includes 150,000 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants, and students.

APA is committed to the development and implementation of national policies that support behavioral and social science HIV/AIDS research, science-based prevention interventions, and comprehensive mental and behavioral health service delivery in the context of HIV/AIDS prevention and care. APA believes that the National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS) and its companion Federal Implementation Plan provide a long overdue roadmap to a comprehensive coordinated response to the domestic HIV epidemic. 

Developed by APA’s Public Interest Government Relations Office, Office on AIDS and Committee on Psychology and AIDS, this document highlights the role psychology can play in achieving the NHAS’s three goals and the 2015 targets delineated in the Federal Implementation Plan. Inclusion of mental and behavioral health across all aspects of NHAS implementation is essential to help people protect themselves from HIV infection, to help those who are already infected from transmitting the virus to others, and to reduce adverse health consequences among those living with HIV. Congress, federal agencies, state, local and tribal governments, and non-governmental organizations can use this document to promote the incorporation of mental and behavioral health services into all aspects of HIV/AIDS prevention and care programs and policy development.

HIV continues to take a huge toll on individuals and communities, especially those that have the least access to early detection and treatment services.  As our nation continues to wage the battle against HIV/AIDS, it is especially important to understand and address the emotional, attitudinal and behavioral factors that are critical to both HIV prevention and adherence to care.

-Norman B. Anderson, PhD, Chief Executive Officer, American Psychological Association