SC HIV PLANNING COUNCIL (HPC)
In 2005, the STD/HIV Division integrated HIV prevention and care planning activities. Following a yearlong process (in 2004) with stakeholders from HIV prevention and care programs, a mission statement, bylaws, and policies and procedures were developed which guided the HPC through its first three years. The twenty-five (25) member HPC met quarterly through 2007.
In December of 2007, the Bylaws and Policies and Procedures were amended to reflect a representative membership of thirty-one (31) voting members from CDC-funded prevention programs (both directly and indirectly funded), Ryan White Treatment Modernization Act-funded care and support services programs (Parts B, C, and D), collaborating state agencies, community-based organizations (CBOs), faith-based programs, and interested community members. Participation from consumers living with HIV/AIDS is ensured, with the bylaws mandating that six (6) of the 31 members be persons who are HIV positive. In December of 2012, the Bylaws and Policies and Procedures were again amended to reflect a representative membership of thirty-four (34) voting members, adding representation from two additional state agencies (SC Department of Juvenile Justice and SC Department of Mental Health) and the state’s Ryan White Part F Program (the SC HIV/AIDS Clinical Training Center at the USC Department of Medicine). Participation from consumers living with HIV/AIDS continues to be ensured, with the bylaws now mandating that seven (7) of the 34 members be persons who are living with HIV.
Now in its ninth year (2013), the HPC meets five times a year in Columbia. Three of the standing committees (Prevention, Care and Support Services, and Needs Assessment) meet during a portion of the daylong HPC meeting as well as between meetings. The Consumer Advisory Committee meets on separate days from the HPC meeting, as its voting members on the HPC are fully integrated into the three committees noted above. The Membership Committee, composed of representatives from each standing committee, meets as needed to review applications and select new members for the next term, fill vacancies, or deal with other membership issues that may arise.
Applications for membership in the HPC are sent out in the fall of each year as well as distributed at the annual SC HIV/STD Conference. Persons selected serve a two-year term. The membership of the HPC reflects, as much as possible, the demographic characteristics of the HIV epidemic in South Carolina. The following criteria are utilized to assist in the selection of members:
- Infected or affected by HIV;
- At least two years’ experience providing HIV prevention and/or care services;
- Expertise in the following HIV-related program services areas: HIV clinical care, linkage to care, case management, housing, mental health, substance use prevention or treatment, my counseling and testing services, partner services, comprehensive risk counseling services, and/or evidence-based health education/risk reduction programs;
- Representation from a geographical area highly impacted by HIV; and
- Representative of priority populations for targeting high impact prevention services: persons living with HIV, African American Men who have Sex with Men, African American Men who have Sex with Women, White Men who have Sex with Men, African American Women who have Sex with Men, Hispanics/Latinos, and Injection Drug Users.
In addition to the standing committees, the HPC also has workgroups which deal with specific populations and are cross-cutting over the issues of Care & Support Services, Needs Assessment, and Prevention. Membership is open to persons with an interest in or expertise with the population. The workgroups are Adolescent Sexual Health, Corrections, and Hispanics/Latinos. STD/HIV Division staff members provide staff support to the workgroups, which report on their activities at each HPC meeting.
For more information (including but not limited to membership, meeting agendas and minutes) please visit the SC HIV Planning Council web site (http://www.schpc.org) or contact Susan L. Fulmer, Planning Coordinator and HPC Health Department Co-chair, at 803-898-0684 or via e-mail at FulmerSL@dhec.sc.gov.