Plenary 2: SYNCing to End the Epidemics Through Government

The concept of a syndemic approach to disease intervention and modeling was proposed more than two decades ago. This strategy highlighted the SYNChronistic interplay of societal forces and their effect on shaping epidemics. Across all levels of local, state, and federal governments, collaborations, investments, and innovations are made that aim to address the epidemics of HIV, sexually-transmitted infections (STIs), viral Hepatitis, and substance use disorder.

Through their community lens and vision, speakers will highlight the way in which their government’s response to those epidemics best examines and addresses the systemic or structural factors that disproportionately affect community engagement in, access to, and utilization of health services—looking particularly across racial and ethnic minority populations  and the LGBTQ communities.

Speakers will also discuss the need to sustain existing evidence and outcomes-based services in their current forms, while also intensifying efforts, policies, and program innovations that address the social determinants of health and continued breakdown of healthcare silos for prioritized communities.


Laura Cheever, Associate Administrator for HIV/AIDS Bureau, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Demetre Daskalakis, CDC Director, Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention (DHAP)

James Macrae, Associate Administrator for Primary Health Care, Health Resources and Services Administration

Leandro Mena, Director of the Division of STD Prevention (DSTDP), CDC National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention

Jonathan Mermin, Director, CDC National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention

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