Transcript of the Conversation with Dr. Deborah Parham Hopson, HRSA


December 14, 2007

Q: Welcome to Conversations on Each month on we have conversations with government officials about HIV/AIDS issues. Today we’ll be speaking with Dr. Deborah Parham Hopson from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). Dr. Parham Hobson, welcome and thank you for joining us today.

Deborah Parham Hopson: Thank you very much for having me.

Q: What is HRSA?

Deborah Parham Hopson: HRSA is the Health Resources and Services Administration, an agency of the US Department of Health and Human Services. HRSA is the primary federal agency for improving access to healthcare services for people who are uninsured, isolated or medically vulnerable. HRSA provides leadership and financial support to healthcare providers in every state and US territory. The grantees that HRSA funds provide healthcare to uninsured people, people living with HIV and AIDS, pregnant women, mothers and their children. We also train health professionals to improve services of care in rural communities.

Q: What is your role at HRSA?

Deborah Parham Hopson: I’m the Associate Administrator for HIV/AIDS at HRSA. As Associate Administrator I’m responsible for managing the Ryan White HIV/AIDS program. That program funds training for healthcare professionals, but we also provide medical care, treatment, referrals and support services for uninsured, underinsured and underserved people living with HIV disease in the United States and its’ territories.

Q: Would you please give us an example of how HRSA meets the care needs of people living with HIV/AIDS living in the United States?

Deborah Parham Hopson: Sure. The Ryan White program funds over 500 unique programs which then provide services to approximately 531,000 people each year. Some of these people receive core medical services.

Q: What are Core Medical Services?

Deborah Parham Hopson: There are many core medical services, but just some examples include: outpatient or ambulatory healthcare services, antiretroviral or other medications, oral healthcare, outpatient substance abuse services and medical case management. We also know that people need what we call support services so that they can get into care, things such as medical transportation, outreach, health education, housing and rehabilitation services.

Q: What actions would you like to see public health officials take or continue to take to address the care needs of people living with HIV/AIDS?

Deborah Parham Hopson: That’s a really great question. There are several actions that public health officials can take. First, I think we need to step up our efforts to find the estimated quarter of a million people who are HIV-positive but who are unaware of their status. One way that we might do that is to partner with community organizations such as faith based groups, recreation centers and social service organizations so that we can provide outreach and HIV testing services to people who congregate there. Once we find people who are HIV-positive, we really need to get them into care and keep them in care. We know that approximately 250,000 people are living with HIV but they’re not in care. That’s for a variety of reasons. Some people who are HIV-positive also have substance abuse issues. Some need mental health services. And some may be homeless. We need to work jointly with a host of healthcare and social service organizations so that we can provide a comprehensive range of services to meet the needs of all of these folks. Finally we need to continue to provide high quality clinical care to people with HIV.

Q: Thank you for speaking with us today about the important work HRSA is doing to help meet the care needs of people living with HIV/AIDS. For more information on HRSA, go to HRSA is H-R-S-A. Please visit to view the transcript of this podcast. This podcast was created in partnership with the US Department of Health and Human Services office of HIV/AIDS Policy, the managing entity of

Last revised: 04/03/2008