NMAC Connection: A Challenging Road Ahead

NMAC Spotlight: Treatment

NMAC’s Treatment Division leads with race by asserting the unique needs of communities of color through its programs, advocacy, and policy work and NMAC’s conferences. Our programs expand our HIV health literacy agenda with an acute focus on biomedical prevention, effective treatment options, cure advocacy, and healthcare access and engagement activities in communities of color. Our advocacy and policy work leverages our collective strength as a community to protect healthcare reform and the gains we made towards ending the epidemic due to the Affordable Care Act as well as to fund critical HIV programs that help us end the epidemic. Our conferences work facilitates the sharing of research, data, smart policies, and community-informed best practices. To find out more about Treatment, please visit our website.

Treatment had a very successful 2017 and has big plans for 2018. Read more on our website.

Who’s in the Treatment Division?

          
Moises Agosto-Rosario     Matthew Rose
Treatment Director             Policy and Advocacy Manager
(202) 836-3669                  (202) 834-1472

         
Fernando De Hoyos           Sable K. Nelson
Treatment Coordinator       Policy Analyst
(202) 836-2226                   (202) 997-0951

Guest Voice: David Harvey, Executive Director of the National Coalition of STD Directors

From time to time, NMAC will include voices from outside our organization to present different views, research studies, or other commentary. This week, we’re pleased to feature David Harvey, Executive Director of the National Coalition of STD Directors.

Paul Kawata recently wrote that he is willing to live with the “trade-off” of increasing STDs if it means we can end the HIV epidemic. I thank Paul for publicly raising what so many have raised in private – but I think this is the wrong framing of the issue. I argue that we cannot end HIV without acknowledging an inconvenient truth: the HIV and STD epidemics are inextricably linked and without combatting both, we won’t end HIV.
(click here to read David’s full statement)

Mark Your Calendars! USCA Sept. 6-9

Please mark your calendar for the 2018 United States Conference on AIDS to be held September 6-9 in Orlando, Florida. NMAC initially moved USCA to Orlando to support a city that was devastated by the massacre at Pulse Nightclub. It was a tragic and unthinkable loss of life and, like the HIV epidemic, it left behind a community that was both broken and committed to rebuilding. Two years later, what are the lessons the HIV community can learn from this adversity? How do we honor this unspeakable loss while the rest of the world moves on to other issues?

Read more about USCA 2018 here

A Challenging Road Ahead

We have a lot of work ahead of us in 2018. We hope you’ll join us to resist efforts to harm, marginalize, and stigmatize the HIV community and all communities at risk for HIV. Keep watching here and on our website to see how you can help!

A Response to HHS

Nation’s Leading HIV & STD Organizations Oppose Formation of New “Conscience and Religious Freedom Division” at HHS

Washington, DC — AIDS United, NASTAD, the National Coalition of STD Directors, NMAC, and The AIDS Institute, jointly condemned the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announcement today of the formation of a new Conscience and Religious Freedom Division (CRFD) in the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR). The CRFD will be tasked with “restor[ing] federal enforcement of our nation’s laws that protect the fundamental and unalienable rights of conscience and religious freedom.” To those of us who work to promote the health of LGBTQ people, those living with HIV, including people of color, and other marginalized communities, we recognize this as dog-whistle politics and an attempt at state-sanctioned discrimination. The Trump administration is extending federal, legal cover to providers who can potentially deny medical care for transgender individuals, women, or same-sex couples, including the full range of reproductive health services and any other procedure an employee or licensed health facility may object to, on so-called “moral” grounds. The new division will invite health professionals to misinterpret and ignore current legal and medical standards, putting the health and safety of patients at risk.

In its announcement of the office, HHS spokesperson OCR Director Roger Severino offered the false choice that “no one should be forced to choose between helping sick people and living by one’s deepest moral or religious convictions.” However, we contend that no one should be denied medical care because their doctor or provider objects to their sexual orientation, gender identity, or reproductive autonomy. LGBTQ and other minority and marginalized communities, especially those living with HIV, already face discrimination and significant barriers to accessing critical prevention and care services.

The Office of Civil Rights should focus its efforts on ensuring access to care, particularly for communities who suffer devastating health disparities because of the discrimination they face. In its denial of the experience of those whose very lives are endangered by provider discrimination, the CRFD makes a mockery of the Office of Civil Rights and we urge the administration to reverse course.

###

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, STDs and Viral Hepatitis 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. STD, and hepatitis prevention, care and treatment in the United States.

 

NMAC Connection: A Critical Year Ahead

A Message from the Executive Director

2017 was a difficult political year. Unfortunately, 2018 looks to be equally challenging. President Trump requires that we up our game. There are real lives and real money on the line. Our movement’s long-term success or failure will be greatly shaped by what happens over the next three years. 2018 is particularly important because of the midterm elections, implementation of the tax reform, getting rid of the individual mandate for health insurance, and Congress looking to cut $1.5 trillion in federal spending to pay for the tax cuts. They are seriously considering cuts to Medicare and Medicaid.

NMAC’s 2018 Vision centers on four priorities. These priorities require significant collaboration (internal and external). NMAC remains committed to lead with race to end HIV/AIDS. Biomedical HIV prevention is our greatest hope for building pathways to end the epidemic.

Read more about NMAC’s Vision for 2018.

 

NMAC Spotlight: Conferences

The United States Conference on AIDS (USCA) remains the largest annual gathering of the HIV community in the nation. And the Biomedical HIV Prevention Summit continues to grow in importance after just two years. Both of those events are organized by the Conferences division at NMAC. Each year, our staff works to present a USCA and a Summit that are engaging, educational, and impactful for those who attend. It’s a big job but an important one.

 

USCA and Summit 2018

That brings us to the 2018 USCA! This year’s conference will be held Sept. 6-9 in Orlando, Florida at the Hyatt Regency. We hope to see many of you there so mark your calendars now! If you’d like to register, exhibit, sponsor, or advertise at USCA, please visit our website.

We’re still in the early stages of planning this year’s Biomedical HIV Prevention Summit. Keep watching here and on our website for more information.

 

Who’s in Conferences?

                                   
Tara Barnes-Darby        Alison McKeithen            Shanta’ Gray
Conferences Director        Conferences Manager      Meetings and Registration Coordinator
(202) 870-0460                   (202) 930-2567                    (202) 302-9720

 

It’s an Election Year! Are You Ready?

2018 is a critical midterm election year. We need everyone to make their voices heard on behalf of everyone living with HIV and communities that are vulnerable to the epidemic.

Are you registered to vote? Do you know where you can register? Do you have all the documentation your state requires to vote, like a current photo ID? When is the primary election in your state? Are there any special elections for Congress or legislatures in your area?

You can find answers to many of those questions here. You can also find links for your local elections offices to see which elections are coming up in your area.

Don’t sit this vital election out! We need your voice!

 

Join the NMAC Family!

Become a member of NMAC! With all of this critical work to be done, NMAC needs your help. We rely on the generous support of individuals and organizations to ensure that the voices of minorities vulnerable to and living with HIV are heard in DC and helps us provide our critical training, education activities, and programming.

NMAC Connection: Centering Black Voices

Join Us for a Black History Month Webinar Feb. 21

Join us for a webinar for Black History Month on Feb. 21 at 3:00 PM EST. We are thrilled to welcome Leisha McKinley-Beach to talk about advocacy and awareness of HIV from Black leadership from the very beginning of the epidemic. NMAC is also honored to partner with the National Black AIDS Institute to present this webinar.

This webinar is the first in NMAC’s Community Spotlight webinar series this year to celebrate and spotlight communities that are often invisible or overlooked due to issues of race, gender, or gender identity – and to make sure they and their challenges with HIV are seen and heard.

Register NOW!

 

Join NMAC for Trainings in Jackson, MS and Ft Lauderdale , FL Next Week!

Are you in Jackson, MS, or Ft. Lauderdale, FL, the week of Feb. 5? Then join NMAC for a training session with our Strong Communities program! This training promotes an intentional discussion among community-based organizations and clinics about the social drivers of HIV, how they intersect with race, and how race affects HIV service delivery. Register NOW!

 

February 7 is National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

February 7 marks the 18th year for National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD), a national HIV testing and

treatment community mobilization initiative targeted at Blacks in the United States and the African Diaspora. Founded in 1999 as a national response to the growing HIV and AIDS epidemic in Black communities, NBHAAD presents the opportunity for those who have held communities together, spoken truth to power, demanded higher quality services, advocated for better access to treatment/prevention to help us achieve the end of the epidemic in our lifetime. Read more about NBHAAD and HIV in the African-American community. 

 

Executive Update: Why NMAC Must Lead With Race

By Paul Kawata, Executive Director
We create coded language to explain why people of color must work smarter, stronger, and be more organized than their white counterparts. Racism is baked into the mainstream’s beliefs about people with different skin colors. It is unfair, but very real. White is seen as competent, while everyone else must prove their worth.

This is the lesson that parents of color teach their children, also known as “driving while black.” To protect our children, early on we share life’s ugly reality that the world isn’t fair. Your skin color can get you killed. Read more of Paul’s update.

USCA Updates And Black History Month

The USCA Website is Open for Business!

Mark your calendars for the 2018 United States Conference on AIDS (USCA) taking place September 6-9 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in sunny Orlando, FL. For more information, e-mail conferences@nmac.org.

Register Now!
Reserve an Exhibit Booth!
Sponsor the Conference!
Reserve a Program/ Mobile App Ad!
Apply for a Scholarship!

  • USCA General (Both A & B)
  • HIV50+ Strong and Healthy
  • Social Media Fellowship
What’s New at the 2018 USCA? Read more to find out!  

 

Black History Month Webinar Feb. 21

Join NMAC and the Black AIDS Institute for a webinar for Black History Month on Feb. 21 at 3:00 PM EST. We are thrilled to welcome Leisha McKinley-Beach to talk about advocacy and awareness of HIV from Black leadership from the very beginning of the epidemic.This webinar is the first in NMAC’s Community Spotlight webinar series this year to celebrate and spotlight communities that are often invisible or overlooked due to issues of race, gender, or gender identity – and to make sure they and their challenges with HIV are seen and heard.

Space is limited so REGISTER NOW!!!

 

NMAC Briefs the Congressional Black Caucus

by Matthew Rose, NMAC Policy and Advocacy Manger

Yesterday, in the halls of congress, on the heels of the announcement a major budget deal, and on National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, NMAC met with staffers from the offices of the Congressional Black Caucus. With a group of dynamic leaders and community members, NMAC helped to deliver an updated call to action, discussing the current state of affairs with HIV and its role in the black community. The session focused on the lived experiences of individuals and the people they work with who are living at the front lines of this fight with a clear call for some of the more basic needs that can help make a difference, like supportive housing, access to healthcare, and stigma free sex education.

Read more about NNMAC’s Congressional Black Caucus briefing

 

Constituent Spotlight

From time to time, we want to share the inspiring stories of some of the people who are taking leadership roles in the fight against HIV with the help of NMAC. This week, our Communications Director Chip Lewis brings you the story of Teresa Sullivan.

Teresa Sullivan is in a good place in her life. She’s married to a loving and supportive husband, is a devoted grandmother and great-grandmother, and has a dedication to her work as an HIV educator and community activist.

But she didn’t get to this place easily. Teresa overcame numerous personal and health care challenges to get here.

Teresa has been living with HIV for 23 years. At the time of her diagnosis, she was in an abusive relationship.

“He told me no one else would want me because of my HIV status,” said Sullivan. “At the time, I was glad that there was someone I thought would love me unconditionally even though I had HIV.” Read Teresa’s full story here. 

NMAC Connection – A Preview Of Things To Come!

The Summit is Coming to L.A., Dec. 3-4!

The third annual Biomedical HIV Prevention Summit will be held Dec. 3-4  at the JW Marriott Los Angeles in downtown Los Angeles, California. Registration for the Summit is officially open!

NMAC believes biomedical HIV prevention tools like PrEP, PEP, Treatment as Prevention (TasP), and U=U create pathways to ending the epidemic. We are very excited to return to LA. The Summit is partnering with the Los Angeles County Division of HIV and STD Programs. For the first time, we will have a local host committee. Their job is to highlight how Southern California is working to end the epidemic.

For further information about the Summit please visit: www.biomedicalhivsummit.org. NMAC thanks Gilead for recommitting their support of this important meeting.

 

Space is Limited for Our Black History Month Webinar Feb 21!

Join NMAC and the Black AIDS Institute for a webinar for Black History Month on Feb. 21 at 3:00 PM EST. We are thrilled to welcome Leisha McKinley-Beach to talk about advocacy and awareness of HIV from Black leadership from the very beginning of the epidemic.

This webinar is the first in NMAC’s Community Spotlight webinar series (link) to celebrate and spotlight communities that are often invisible or overlooked due to issues of race, gender, or gender identity – and to make sure they and their challenges with HIV are seen and heard. Each month our Spotlight will highlight NMAC’s constituents.  March will focus on Women, April on Youth, May on Asian/Pacific Islanders, June is Pride, October on the Latinx community, and November on Native Americans. Register NOW!

 

Questions About the 2018 Elections? Join Us for a Facebook Live Event for Answers

Join NMAC’s Policy team for a Facebook Live event on Thursday, Feb. 22 at 2:00 PM EST on the 2018 midterm elections. To attend please visit us at facebook.com/NMACCommunity.

The ability to end HIV is real. Science allows us to treat HIV effectively and prevent it with biomedical tools. The life expectancy of people with HIV is almost equal to those not infected with HIV. Unfortunately, that is not the case for communities of color who continue to be disproportionally impacted by HIV. We will never end the epidemic if these health disparities are not addressed.

We need political will and real leadership to scale up access to treatment and biomedical prevention in all communities highly impacted by HIV. As we head into this year’s elections, hear from NMAC’s policy team on how to prepare your agency for this critical midterm election and get some tips on what you can and can’t do as a 501C3.

 

Keep up With NMAC

There’s a lot going on at NMAC. Keep up to date with our online calendar.

NMAC Connection: Be A Part of the USCA Program Team!

Join NMAC’s Constituent Advisory Panels and Make A Difference

Constituent Advisory Panels (CAPs) are a new initiative to better connect with key communities. Based on concerns raised at USCA and the Summit, NMAC is putting together four CAPs to increase our key connections.

The initial tasks of the CAPs will be to advise NMAC on workshops, institutes, plenaries, and scholarship decisions for the 2018 USCA and Summit. While the CAPs will work with all of NMAC, their main priority is our conferences. We are looking for leaders who work collaboratively and play well with others.

For more information and to apply for CAP membership, visit our website.

 

Questions About USCA? Join One of Our Webinars!

The United States Conference on AIDS isn’t until September but there are a lot of important deadlines before then. One of the first is submitting abstracts for consideration. That can be a confusing process, but NMAC is here to help!

Join us on Wednesday, March 7, for our first USCA 2018 webinar “How to Submit an Abstract.”  This free webinar will walk you through the entire submission process and give you a chance to ask any questions you may have. To register for the webinar click here.

NMAC will host additional webinars on USCA 2018, so watch this space for more information on them.

Constituent Spotlight: Queen Hatcher-Johnson

From time to time, we want to share the inspiring stories of some of the people who are taking leadership roles in the fight against HIV with the help of NMAC. This week, our Communications Director Chip Lewis brings you the story of transgender non-conforming leader Queen Hatcher-Johnson.

Living with HIV for more than two decades isn’t keeping Queen Hatcher-Johnson down. She’s now living her best life.
“HIV gave me a new birth with a new purpose to live and not just exist,” said Queen. “My life has changed for the good. I’m more honest and loyal than ever. It has opened my eyes to being healthy and staying healthy and educating others on the importance of being healthy.”

Read more of Queen’s story on our website: here

Keep Up With NMAC

Spring is on its way – and NMAC’s events keep growing. Keep up to date with our online calendar.

Constituent Spotlight: Queen Hatcher-Johnson

Living with HIV for more than two decades isn’t keeping down. She’s now living her best life.

“HIV gave me a new birth with a new purpose to live and not just exist,” said Queen. “My life has changed for the good. I’m more honest and loyal than ever. It has opened my eyes to being healthy and staying healthy and educating others on the importance of being healthy.”

Prior to her diagnosis, Queen was a manager in hospitality and retail, “moving from state to state, running from myself; just existing but now I live with and on positive energy.”

Queen is currently a Clinic Office Associate for Positive Impact Health Centers in Georgia. There, she describes herself as “the face of the center.” She greets all incoming patients and guests, schedules appointments, and handles patient billing.

She’s also a committed volunteer and community speaker, working with organizations like Harlem United, AIDS Atlanta, and the Atlanta Policy Academy. And she’s happily married to her husband Terrance and the proud parent of two Yorkies, Lady and Rolex.

She’s also a participant in NMAC’s Building Leaders of Color (BLOC) program to train new leaders in the fight against HIV.

“NMAC has given me the knowledge to understand the language at board meetings, how to represent and speak up for myself and my community,” said Queen. “They’ve taught me successful leadership skills, how to deal with stigma, and so many skills. I could go on and on.”

NMAC is honored to have Queen as part of our activist family. And we hope she will keep going “on and on” as a leader in the movement.

NMAC Launches “Community Spotlight Series” of Webinars

SpotlightNMAC is launching a new Community Spotlight series of webinars for 2018. These webinars will celebrate and spotlight communities that bear greater burdens in the HIV epidemic but are often invisible or overlooked due to issues of race, gender, or gender identity.

The first entry in the series will be held Wednesday, Feb. 21, at 3:00 PM EST, in recognition of Black History Month. Reunited And It Feels So Good: Addressing Barriers That Fuel The Division of Ending The Epidemic (ETE) Planning in Black America, by Leisha McKinley-Beach, provides an overview of addressing HIV from a community perspective and will discuss the advocacy and awareness of HIV from Black leadership from the very beginning of the epidemic.

NMAC is proud to partner with the Black AIDS Institute to present this webinar.

More information about the Community Spotlight Series, including registration information, is available at www.nmac.org/webinars.

“We have heard time and again from many communities that face the greatest challenges from HIV that they want more visibility for their concerns and their needs,” said Paul Kawata, NMAC’s Executive Director. “NMAC is committed to ensuring that they are seen and heard. These webinars are just one of several new initiatives NMAC is undertaking this year to amplify all of the voices of minority communities in the fight against not just HIV but against racism and inequalities that help the epidemic to continue. We hope that everyone will join us to hear from both established and new leaders in the HIV movement and learn more about the issues we all face.”

Recognizing National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day with the Congressional Black Caucus

by Matthew Rose, Policy and Advocacy Manager
Yesterday, in the halls of Congress, on the heels of the announcement a major budget deal, and on National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, NMAC met with staffers from the offices of the Congressional Black Caucus. With a group of dynamic leaders and community members, NMAC helped to deliver an updated call to action, discussing the current state of affairs with HIV and its role in the black community. The session focused on the lived experiences of individuals and the people they work with who are living at the front lines of this fight with a clear call for some of the more basic needs that can help make a difference, like supportive housing, access to healthcare, and stigma free sex education.

The panelists explained where we have been and where science has led us as a community and country. We now know that if an HIV-positive person maintains an undetectable viral load in their blood, they can greatly improve their health outcomes and cannot transmit HIV. We also know how a pill taken regularly can prevent HIV but these interventions are slow to take hold in black communities. The panel asked for more support from congressional leaders, in both the form of legislation and raising voices of people sharing the truth about the effect of HIV on community and how to change the realities. We are at a tipping point, but it is a question of will. Will we have the strength and support from all levels to end to this epidemic?

 

*NMAC would like to thank the Congressional Black Caucus and Congressional HIV Caucus.