Federal administrative and data collection requirements are undermining the efforts of federally funded programs to respond to the U.S. HIV and viral hepatitis epidemics, according to new data from the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD).

In a press release, NASTAD asserts that the 2010 National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS) has created this burden. Among other goals, the NHAS was supposed to help better coordinate HIV programs nationwide through standardized data collection and by streamlining state reporting requirements on blood-borne diseases.

However, state health departments are having a hard time keeping up with the 238 NHAS reporting requirements. These data reports must be done annually to get funding for state programs addressing HIV, viral hepatitis, sexually transmitted infections and tuberculosis.

Advocates claim the increase in paperwork has distracted them from their HIV prevention, care and treatment work on the ground. They argue that the reporting requirements are drawing vital time and resources away from their patients.

To help illustrate the extent of the problem, NASTAD has updated its Federal Reporting Requirements Table and Chart, which details the data needed from every program to maintain federal funding.

NASTAD will continue to assess the reporting burden as it develops and will offer recommendations to the federal government to help balance the data demands. Their goal is to better focus programs on ending the HIV and hepatitis epidemics instead of on completing overly extensive federal paperwork.