$1 MILLION IN FUNDING TO HELP HIV ORGANIZATIONS IMPACTED BY HURRICANES HARVEY AND IRMA ANNOUNCED AT USCA

                                           

Embargoed for Release: Thursday, September 7, 2017, 9:00 a.m. ET

Contacts:

Chip Lewis, 202.213.8939, clewis@nmac.org                                                                                                Richard Sorian, 202.215-9256, rsorian@aidsunited.org

$1 MILLION IN FUNDING TO HELP HIV ORGANIZATIONS IMPACTED BY HURRICANES HARVEY AND IRMA ANNOUNCED AT USCA

Sept. 7, 2017 – A $1 million fund to help HIV organizations impacted by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma was announced today at the opening of the 21st annual U.S. Conference on AIDS in Washington, DC. The $1 million is being donated by Gilead Sciences.

The announcement was made at the USCA’s opening plenary as the conference honored those working in communities devastated by the hurricane. Delegates from the affected regions were on stage for the announcement. Grants from these funds are being coordinated by AIDS United in collaboration with NMAC.

“Gilead’s generous contribution will make a tremendous difference for people living with HIV and for organizations serving them that were ravaged by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma,” said NMAC Executive Director Paul Kawata. “We must make sure that we reach the organizations most in need as rapidly as possible.”

AIDS United will support the administration of the funds as part of the rapid response arm of its new Southern HIV Impact Fund. NMAC will appoint an HIV Hurricane Relief Advisory Panel made up of local community leaders to identify local needs and priorities to support AIDS United grantmaking.

“There is no greater emergency than the devastation of these powerful hurricanes,” said AIDS United CEO Jesse Milan Jr. “We are thankful this rapid grantmaking process is in place and thrilled that Gilead is making available up to $1 million to support relief efforts for the HIV community.”

In addition to the $1 million donation by Gilead Sciences, AIDS United has allocated $150,000 from the Southern HIV Impact Fund. AIDS United today released a request for applications for organizations in the affected communities. The awards will be made on a rolling basis.

“With hurricane-impacted regions facing a long recovery process, it is more important than ever that the critical services provided by HIV organizations in these areas continue to reach those in need,” said Gregg H. Alton, Executive Vice President, Corporate and Medical Affairs, Gilead Sciences. “Gilead, AIDS United, and NMAC are committed to supporting their efforts to restore and maintain programs.”

The U.S. South is an epicenter of the HIV epidemic in the U.S. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than half of new AIDS diagnoses and deaths occurred in the south. In 2015, Florida ranked first among states in terms of new diagnoses, Texas ranked third, and Louisiana ranked 11th.

“Hurricane Harvey adds a heightened sense of urgency to the organizations serving people living with HIV/AIDS,” said John Barnes, executive director of Funders Concerned About AIDS, which brought together Gilead Sciences and other partners to create the Southern HIV Impact Fund. “We are calling on organizations across the country to join Gilead Sciences and others in supporting the work that must be done to reverse these troubling trends.”

Organizations, businesses and individuals can make donations to the AIDS United Southern HIV Impact Fund at here.

NMAC leads with race to urgently fight for health equity and racial justice to end the HIV epidemic in America. Since 1987, NMAC has advanced our mission through a variety of programs and services, including: a public policy education program, national and regional training conferences, a treatment and research program, numerous electronic and print materials, and a website: http://www.nmac.org/. NMAC also serves as an association of AIDS service organizations, providing valuable information to community-based organizations, hospitals, clinics, and other groups assisting individuals and families affected by the HIV epidemic.

AIDS United’s mission is to end the AIDS epidemic in the U.S. through strategic grant-making, capacity building, formative research and policy. AIDS United works to ensure access to life-saving HIV/AIDS care and prevention services and to advance sound HIV/AIDS-related policy for U.S. populations and communities most impacted by the epidemic. To date, our strategic grant-making initiatives have directly funded more than $104 million to local communities, and have leveraged more than $117 million in additional investments for programs that include, but are not limited to HIV prevention, access to care, capacity building, harm reduction and advocacy. aidsunited.org.

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876.2820

It Broke My Heart

Like many of you, I watched the weekend’s events unfold in Charlottesville with great sadness and disbelief.  White supremacists believe that the color of their skin gives them a privilege in our society.  They hold on to symbols like the swastika and the confederate flag to reaffirm their false narrative that being white makes them superior.

Most of us understand that these beliefs are wrong, vile, and un-American.  Yet the consequences of America’s racial divide are very real.  We are fighting an epidemic where black women are 20 times more likely to get HIV than white women.  Gay men of color, particularly black gay men, are the largest number of people living with HIV in America.  Eighty percent of transgender women diagnosed with HIV were African-American or Latina. Diagnoses among Latino MSM increased 13 percent from 2010 to 2014.

We understand that your skin color does not make you superior, so why and how does your skin color impact your health outcomes?

Our movement talks about the social determinants of health as a way to tiptoe around discussions about race.  Maybe it’s easier to talk about poverty, unemployment, or a lack of education.  NMAC believes those conditions exist because of racism.  Until we address race, racism, and its impact on our nation’s health, we will never end the HIV epidemic in America.

Dr. David Williams from Harvard University will speak at the opening plenary of this year’s United States Conference on AIDS.  Dr. Williams has done some of the definitive work on race and health.  NMAC also invited the People’s Institute to present their ground-breaking teachings on Undoing Racism.  In fact, there is a whole pathway on race.   It’s not enough to be culturally sensitive; the movement needs to understand race and privilege and their impact on health.  It’s time to get rid of our fear of talking about race by talking about race.

We must not shy away.  Whether we want to have it or not, this conversation is happening and sometimes in very destructive ways.  Our movement must lead on race in order for us to end the HIV epidemic.

Yours in the struggle,

Paul Kawata

Our Movement Needs You – What YOU Can Do Today!

Our movement needs YOU. My name is Sable K. Nelson and I’m a Policy Analyst at NMAC.  The current proposed cuts to HIV funding would be devastating to our movement because they would both reduce and eliminate vital programs that the most vulnerable people in our community need to stay in care or access HIV services.

Over the past three decades, NMAC has worked in coalition to ensure people of color have a seat at the table and our voices are heard in the fight against HIV. This year, NMAC is asking you to:

(1)  Participate in HIV/STD Action Day on Capitol Hill on September 6th. Action Day is being held one day before the 2017 United States Conference on AIDS. This is your opportunity to meet with your Member of Congress and/or Senator and share your story as to why it is so important to protect programs such as SMAIF, HOPWA, and Ryan White. Since you will already be in DC for USCA, we were hoping you would also join us on September 6th to make your  voice heard as part our movement on Capitol Hill. Thank you to those who have already registered to take part of this important event.  There is no cost associated with registering for Action Day.  In order to participate in Action Day, all you would have to do is register ahead of time and NMAC will schedule your legislative meetings. If you have any questions about Action Day, please contact Sable Nelson or Matt Rose for assistance.

(2) Engage the media. We are also looking for spokespeople who will work with NMAC’s communication team to place local op-eds in the mainstream, people of color, HIV, and LBGT press in August.  Our team will work with you to generate content for these pieces.  If you would be willing to work with us on these editorials, please contact Daniel Pino or Chip Lewis.

(3) Prepare to speak to your federal elected officials and/or the media. To help you in your advocacy, we are hosting a variety of webinars that offer real-world skill-building resources that will impart practical information, offer suggestions, and answer questions about how to make the most of your time working with your elected officials both ON and OFF Capitol Hill. Here is a list of all webinars being offered to interested attendees:

Effective Story Telling (Part 1): Aug 23 (3:00 PM – 4:00 PM EST)
Effective Story Telling (Part 2): Aug 28 (3:00 PM – 4:00PM EST)
How to Navigate the Hill & Engage with Media: Aug 31 (3:00 PM – 4:00 PM EST)

We encourage you to visit our official HIV/STD Action Day webinar website and find out more ways to join us for one, two, or all of these sessions. You do NOT need to pre-register for these webinars. But, we do encourage you to mark the dates and times on your calendars.

(4) Attend the Opening Reception for USCA at the Library of Congress on Wednesday, September 6th.   This reception will be an opportunity to meet with your colleagues and members of Congress. It is vital that our movement shows up for this reception. More information about the logistics for the opening reception will come to as we get closer to the date.

We are so close to an end to this epidemic and we can only achieve an HIV-free generation if we maintain federal investment in HIV prevention and treatment services. Now is not the time to be silent and wait for action – we MUST join together and ensure all of our voices are heard.

Yours in the Struggle,

Sable K. Nelson, Esq
Policy Analyst
NMAC

USCA Registration Deadline – This Friday!

USCA Registration Deadline – This Friday!

This Friday, August 11 is the registration deadline for this year’s USCA. Be sure to register now to take advantage of the lower rates.* After August 11 the registration rate increases to the “on-site” registration rate of $815. Click here for a full breakdown and explanation of the registration categories for this year’s USCA.

The 2017 USCA will be a family reunion like no other. NMAC is excited to welcome our family as we come together once more to celebrate and honor one another.  Through innovative programming and networking opportunities we will develop connections and share plans for ways to end the HIV epidemic once and for all. Please join us this year in Washington, DC on September 7 – 10th to be a part of this important moment in our history.

Still not convinced? Download our official 2017 USCA mobile app on the iOS or Android stores and find out more about conference workshops, social events, and plenaries! It is your way to explore the conference and set up your very own agenda and social networking feed all before you even arrive at USCA.

We look forward to seeing you at this year’s conference and if you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact us at: conferences@nmac.org.

*Please note all registrations paid by check, money order, and/or purchase order must be postmarked (NOT received) by August 11 to be processed at the lower rate.

Yours in the struggle,


Tara Barnes-Darby, CMP
Conferences, Director

Official 2017 USCA Conference Mobile App Launched Today!

Download the USCA Conference App Today!

BY:  TARA BARNES-DARBY · NMAC · August 1, 2017

The official 2017 USCA Conference App is here! This year’s USCA app serves as the main source for breaking conference information and on-site updates. Not just that, but the app is an excellent way to research specific session topics and build your very own personal conference agenda before arriving to the event! By downloading, you have the chance to better  engage and network with fellow conference attendees and share photos, tweets, and other social media updates that can be seen by all USCA delegates! Now is the time for you to network, connect with people, and create roots that will help you build ties to members of the HIV family both during and after the conference. Be sure to keep your push notifications on and check regularly as we start to confirm more conference activities.

Download – It’s important that you download the current 2017 app so that you stay up to date on all conference announcements and programming opportunities! When clicked from a mobile device, this link will direct you to the app store of your device (Apple or Google) where you an access the app free of charge. Additionally you can search the app store for the 2017 USCA. If mobile apps aren’t your thing, we have you covered – you can view all information featured on the app on this website.

 After you have created your own profile and login for the app you can build your very own personalized agenda. Once inside you can search for specific topics, sessions, and speakers! By clicking on the “Schedule” and  “Search” icons you can find the respective information and customize your time at USCA even before arriving to the conference. Not just that but if you are interested in specific conference topics you can search by pathways and tracks to maximize your conference experience. Simply, click on the “Sessions by Tracks” or “Sessions by Pathways” icons and to find the information you need! It’s important to note that you MUST create a profile on the app to take advantage of this feature.

Network – This year’s conference app features two new ways to engage and connect with your fellow conference attendees. By clicking on the “Social Media Feed” icon you will be prompted to either post on the “Event Feed” or the “Social Wall.” Here’s what you need to know about both options.

  • Event Feed – This is a social media feature specific to users of the app who have created their own app profile. Once logged into the app, users have the chance to easily share photos, text, or a combination of both with a higher character count than traditional social platforms. To use, simply download the app, create a profile, and allow the app to have access to your camera and photos. Then,  when a photo is selected or taken, you can post it to the event feed with up to 410 characters of text and the post is already pre-populated with the official #2017usca hashtag!
  • Social Wall – The social wall is your way to participate in the social sharing aspects of the conference should you not wish to create a profile in the app but still want to be featured in the  app’s social media functionality. For example, when posting on your own Instagram or Twitter profiles use the hashtag #2017USCA or  #nmacyouth17. Then, after you have made the post, the 2017 USCA app will auto populate that content on the social wall! However, because these posts are made external to the conference app you will be bound by the character count of the platforms you’re using and must enter the hashtags on your own.

Whichever way you choose to use it, the 2017 USCA app is a dynamic and innovative tool for you to make the most of your experience at this year’s conference. From customized scheduling, social media interfacing, and even gaming, we highly encourage you to create your own app profile so you can take advantage of all the opportunities the app has to offer. Download it today and by using the #2017usca hashtag begin sharing your thoughts and expectations for this year’s USCA experience. We want to hear from YOU! Now is your chance make your unique voice heard to the USCA family!


USCA 

USCA’s registration deadline is less than 2 weeks away! Be sure to register for the conference on our website and reserve your spot to attend what is sure to be a dynamic and powerful experience! Be a part of our movement’s history and make your voice heard!

Yours in the struggle,

Tara Barnes-Darby, CMP
Conferences, Director

Votes to Preserve Health Care Coverage Deserve Applause – Activists Must Continue to Resist, Persist

Votes to Preserve Health Care Coverage Deserve Applause
Activists Must Continue to Resist, Persist

 

CONTACT: Cory Combs 

combs@sunshinemedia.com  202.280.2398                                                                                           

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – 26 JULY 2017 We are deeply concerned by the Senate’s continuing efforts to take away life-sustaining health care coverage and protections from millions of people who desperately need them. All of the iterations of this legislation threaten the health and well-being of people living with and affected by HIV and other STDs at a time when our nation is making important progress to end the epidemic and STDs are at a 20 year high.

We urge Congress and President Trump to cease these efforts and work, in a bipartisan way, to improve, not tear down, our current system of coverage and care. All Americans – not just the most well off – have a right to affordable, high-quality care. We must work together to make that happen.

If enacted, all of the versions of so-called reform now pending in the Senate would be devastating and cost more while covering fewer people. Premiums for those with insurance will rise dramatically, vital consumer protections will be wiped away, and Medicaid – which provides coverage to 42 percent of all Americans living with HIV who are in care- will be decimated.

Senators have a clear choice to make. Vote to take away coverage, increase costs, and put people’s lives at risk or call a halt to these misguided attacks and come together to improve care and health. We call on Senators to follow the lead of their courageous colleagues who have voted to end this dangerous debate.

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AIDS United (AU), NASTAD, the National Coalition of STD Directors (NCSD), NMAC, and The AIDS Institute (TAI) are national non-partisan, non-profit organizations focused on ending HIV in the U.S. They have been working in partnership to identify and share resources to sustain successes and progress we have made in HIV and STD prevention, care and treatment in the United States.
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Senate Must Halt Attacks on  Healthcare for People Living with HIV and Millions of Americans

Senate Must Halt Attacks on  Healthcare for People Living with HIV and Millions of Americans

CONTACT: Cory Combs  

combs@sunshinemedia.com  202.280.2398                                                                                           

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – 26 JULY 2017 We are deeply concerned by the Senate’s continuing efforts to take away life-sustaining health care coverage and protections from millions of people who desperately need them. All of the iterations of this legislation threaten the health and well-being of people living with and affected by HIV and other STDs at a time when our nation is making important progress to end the epidemic and STDs are at a 20 year high.

We urge Congress and President Trump to cease these efforts and work, in a bipartisan way, to improve, not tear down, our current system of coverage and care. All Americans – not just the most well off – have a right to affordable, high-quality care. We must work together to make that happen.

If enacted, all of the versions of so-called reform now pending in the Senate would be devastating and cost more while covering fewer people. Premiums for those with insurance will rise dramatically, vital consumer protections will be wiped away, and Medicaid – which provides coverage to 42 percent of all Americans living with HIV who are in care- will be decimated.

Senators have a clear choice to make. Vote to take away coverage, increase costs, and put people’s lives at risk or call a halt to these misguided attacks and come together to improve care and health. We call on Senators to follow the lead of their courageous colleagues who have voted to end this dangerous debate.

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AIDS United (AU), NASTAD, the National Coalition of STD Directors (NCSD), NMAC, and The AIDS Institute (TAI) are national non-partisan, non-profit organizations focused on ending HIV in the U.S. They have been working in partnership to identify and share resources to sustain successes and progress we have made in HIV and STD prevention, care and treatment in the United States.
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Official August Recess Webinar

This is a critical time for our movement. With a proposed budget and terrifying health care bill that would seek to decimate coverage for people most at risk for and living with HIV, we must take action like never before to apply the pressure to our elected officials and urge that they maintain essential health care services for millions of Americans.

 

That’s why NMAC is hosting a special webinar this Thursday, July 27th at 3:00 PM EST for you to learn specifically about ways to engage your Member(s) of Congress during the August recess.

At the end of the summer, your representative will be back in their district and they need to see and hear from you like never before as we collectively work to ensure HIV services and prevention methods are funded for all communities.

We have fought too hard for too long for us to go backwards in the fight against HIV. Join us this Thursday as we discuss effective strategies around how to meet with your Member of Congress, work within coalitions, and learn more about this year’s HIV/STD Action Day.

Now is the time Congress needs to hear about the real-life impacts of their work. We must hold those in Washington accountable. Our movement depends on all voices being heard. We must make those in positions of power realize the life and death implications of their work. We cannot sit idly by and wait for others to advocate for us.

Join us this Thursday for this webinar at the following credentials:

You can join from your computer, tablet or smartphone.
Registration URL: https://attendee.gototraining.com/r/7547861835807703298
Training ID: 964-688-540

We look forward to your participation and taking the steps to include your voice to your movement at this important moment in our history.

Yours in the Struggle,

 

Matthew Rose
Policy and Advocacy Manager

STATEMENT FROM NMAC ON SENATE HEALTH CARE VOTE

STATEMENT FROM NMAC ON SENATE HEALTH CARE VOTE

July 26, 2017 – Following is a statement from NMAC Executive Director Paul Kawata on the U.S. Senate’s health care vote:

“The Senate’s vote to move forward with legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act is heartless and cruel. It will impose greater hardships on struggling American families –  including millions of Americans living with or affected by HIV. Data show that communities of color are at a higher risk for HIV and, should the ACA be repealed, they will see the care they’ve come to rely on be stripped away with no alternative. It’s no exaggeration to say that people will die if this repeal becomes reality. We implore the Senate to keep the Affordable Care Act in place and work TOGETHER to make it stronger so we can improve the lives of all Americans.”

NMAC leads with race to urgently fight for health equity and racial justice to end the HIV epidemic in America. Since 1987, NMAC has advanced our mission through a variety of programs and services, including: a public policy education program, national and regional training conferences, a treatment and research program, numerous electronic and print materials, and a website: http://www.nmac.org/. NMAC also serves as an association of AIDS service organizations, providing valuable information to community-based organizations, hospitals, clinics, and other groups assisting individuals and families affected by the HIV epidemic.

How I Use MY Voice to Fuel My Activism

 It’s been a few weeks since I was asked to write one of NMAC’s weekly e-newsletters. At first, I was hesitant to speak to NMAC’s constituents through this platform; after all, it has been five years since I have spoken on a national stage. Since then, I had hoped a lot would have changed for the better.

For nearly 26 years I have spoken out as a voice in the HIV community. I believe there is a distinct difference between being a voice and being an advocate. An advocate is someone who publicly supports or recommends a particular cause or policy. A voice is a source of strength that can move others to make change. Voices of all tones (be them whispers or be them shouts) are powerful.

As an advocate I am mistakenly branded as angry. But I use my voice to assert that I am not angry and I don’t apologize for creating a place in this movement to lift up all people. I refuse to apologize for not living in fear as a black woman living with HIV. In fact, I spent the first 25 years of my life living in silence. But when I learned of my HIV status, I found my voice.  As I fought for my life, I learned to raise my voice and walk in authority.  This authority came not only from learning about my HIV status but from a newly acquired education, and the strength of overcoming low self-esteem, bad relationships, poor education, and cocaine addiction.

Mistakenly, some would suggest that this authority has given me the label of being vain, but as I walk in authority, I feel immense pride – not vanity. I would never have imagined that for all my trials I would now be living drug free for 29 years, be happily married, be a mother, be a grandmother, and be a great-grandmother. I love that I am a friend, a mentor, an entrepreneur but most importantly I love that I am me.

I have learned to give of myself freely and I believe that as people of color living with HIV it is time to stop whispering simply because others might be uncomfortable when they hear our voices. I know firsthand that when we use our voices we gain power and can create change.  For those of us of color and living with HIV finding our voices isn’t easy – but it’s important that we do so in order to create the change we want to see in this world.

I came to NMAC with the understanding that the shoes I had to fill were huge. To be honest, I never considered myself in such a partnership with NMAC. In 2012 I started a new chapter in life when I co-founded Ribbon Consulting Group with the thought that I would step back into the movement and allow others to ascend by doing behind the scenes work with national HIV partners such as NMAC.

I believe, unlike ever before, it is imperative once again for people of color living with HIV to be intentional voices in HIV leadership. When it comes the question to how we can support our needs and others living with HIV we can provide our own answers. We must raise our voices and be silenced no more. That’s why we created the Building Leaders of Color (BLOC) Initiative.

BLOC is the first program of its kind. It is designed to elevate, enhance, and create leadership opportunities specifically for and by people of color living with HIV. BLOC is a HRSA funded cooperative agreement that engages people of color living with HIV to be full, active, and engaged participants in planning bodies, medical and support care teams, boards of directors, and other efforts to address the National HIV/AIDS Strategy Goals.

It’s been a few months since I stepped into a new opportunity to partner with NMAC as a consultant to head up NMAC’s Leadership Pipeline Department. A major part of this position in leading the BLOC. NMAC partners with PWN-USA, THRIVE SS Transgender Law Center (Positively Trans), and the US People Living with HIV Caucus – all of which are nationally recognized coalitions and PLHIV networks to make and carry out the program goals of BLOC.

When I was approached by NMAC, I knew this was a call from the universe to continue working in the movement. I have always understood the role of a leader and many of you in the community have helped shape me over the past 26 years. Over the past few months NMAC staff and partners have embraced me back to the front lines. I have found that Paul and other NMAC team members truly value my life lessons and experiences, and I value their mentorship in this new role as we work side by side to give voice to people of color living with HIV.

Yours in the Struggle,

Linda H. Scruggs
lscruggs@nmac.org
Acting Director of the Leadership Pipeline

PS: This year we invite Ryan White HIV/AIDS Programs Part A & B recipients and graduates from the Regional Trainings to apply for our BLOC Training of Trainers (TOT) Training Institute to be held Aug. 6-11, 2017.  Participation is limited and applications are due July 17, 2017. To learn more about the program and the application process please visit us here.