Lastly, many community representatives cited issues related to funding as obstacles to optimal implementation and maintenance of prevention services. For example, several representatives specifically mentioned that the prevention and care needs of individuals diagnosed with multiple disorders could be better served if organizations were better provided with technical assistance on obtaining and sustaining funding for prevention services. Such assistance could take the form of training in grant writing, or guidance regarding how to use merged funding streams to provide complementary HIV prevention services (e.g., substance abuse treatment and HIV prevention outreach) that are supported through different federal agencies. Such technical assistance could be provided at the state and local levels by liaisons from federal agencies and through closer collaborations with research organizations and health departments.
The views expressed by the community representatives are not new. Such views have been documented in the research literature (Stevenson and White, 1994) and in community public forums (Goldstein and Lew, 1998). Also, the Presidential Advisory Council, in its 1997 response to the Clinton Administration’s actions regarding its technology transfer recommendation, stated that although it was pleased with the CDC’s development of a program concerning technology transfer, “The Council lacks sufficient information to evaluate the effectiveness of this program” (PACHA, 1997). The Council added that, in general, the federal effort in this area “falls well short of what is needed to ensure that local prevention service providers have access to the latest prevention research findings.” The 1999 Work Group Report on HIV Prevention Activities at the CDC, submitted to the CDC Advisory Committee for HIV and STD Prevention (ACHSP), echoed the call for more effective mechanisms for disseminating prevention technologies, recommending that the CDC “develop a technical assistance process that drives a real technology transfer agenda” (CDC, 1999b). The report further noted that “technical assistance is NOT technology transfer.”
There are several key mechanisms by which the transfer and adaptation of prevention research can occur in a more timely fashion. At the state and local levels, one way in which prevention technologies can be more effectively transferred to and implemented by communities is through the establishment of additional collaborative partnerships between prevention researchers (who are often based in universities) and local prevention service providers (Shriver et al., 1998; Sanstad et al., 1999; Schensul, 1999). These collaborations can facilitate the development