The American Academy of HIV Medicine (AAHIVM) is an independent organization of HIV Specialists and HIV care providers dedicated to promoting excellence in HIV/AIDS care and to ensuring better care for those living with AIDS and HIV disease.
HIV providers are on the front lines of the American response to the disease, both domestically and internationally. The Academy has a diverse membership composed of Infectious Diseases, Internal Medicine, Family Medicine and General Practice physicians, Nurse Practitioners, and Physician Assistants, as well as Dentists, and Pharmacists. Member distribution among these provider groups is proportionate to the specialty distribution of frontline providers nationwide.
For a professional trade association for HIV care providers, developing public policy positions that accurately represent our membership is a demanding but crucial task. We attempt to focus our efforts on the issues of greatest importance to our members, to the patients they serve, and to the patients whom we hope to never have by preventing the spread of HIV.
At the federal level, AAHIVM works to affect legislation, regulatory decisions, and federal policy making to reflect the positions of its members. AAHIVM’s staff in Washington, DC works to educate the Administration, Congress, and regulatory agencies on issues affecting HIV providers and their patients, and to advocate on behalf of our constituency. AAHIVM also participates in strategic partnerships, coalitions, collaborations, and joint efforts with other HIV and medical organizations who share common policy goals.
At the state level, the policy platform equips AAHIVM’s members and chapters to advocate for changes in state and local health policies that affect medical care in their state.
There are many issues of concern to our members. As health care providers, and certified medical professionals, we seek policies that promote sound health practices, efficient medical care systems, and science-based public health policies. We also engage with issues that directly affect the care and well-being of people living with HIV or populations most vulnerable to the disease.
The AAHIVM Policy Platform
The AAHIVM Policy Platform is intended to serve as a guide for the organization’s policy decisions, advocacy work, and organizational alliances.
This document represents the values and interest of our members in public policy issues. These positions are used to generate policy priorities, determinations of issue support or opposition, partnerships, advocacy work, and public statements.
The document contains two sections:
The first lays out our guiding principles in policy decision-making. These principles are broad in nature. However, they allow us to determine our support or opposition to certain issues based on a core set of guiding beliefs that our members hold as HIV care professionals.
The second section focuses on specific policy topics of interest and priority to our members, and contains policy statements and positions on those subjects.
Some of the topics are included due to their priority or interest to our members. Others are included due to their frequent and regular occurrence as policy topics that AAHIVM confronts (such as annual federal budget and appropriations processes).
The sequence of both the principles and topics, as listed in this document, is not indicative of the priority level of these topics. Indeed, the priority level of most policy issues changes regularly as the topics rise or fall in prominence on the national or local level. AAHIVM works to keep pace with the policy matters of the day, while always striving to move forward on the issues of greatest concern to our members.
On some policy issues or subjects, our membership may not have a specific policy standpoint, or they may be split in their opinions. Some highly charged issues are not universally agreed upon by the providers that make up our membership. Other topics are too nuanced and varied for our members to agree on a permanent position. In those cases, the Academy attempts to represent our membership’s positions in their truest form, whether that is in declining to engage a particular issue or representing the diversity of opinion that exists on an issue among our members.
In all cases, this document attempts to clearly explain and identify the predominant values and opinions of our membership in policy issues.
To view the AAHIVM Policy Platform in full, open a pdf form of the document here:
The American Academy of HIV Medicine Policy Platform, 2013