Important Happenings in HIV/Health Policy

Important Happenings
in HIV/Health Policy

Week Ending: August 10, 2018
By: Matthew Rose & Sable K. Nelson

NOTE: The House is now in recess until September 4. The Senate is on its scheduled recess until Wednesday, August 15.

 

INPUT REQUESTED: A National Community-Led Plan to End HIV/AIDS as an Epidemic

Since 2014, several U.S. cities, counties, and states have announced Ending the Epidemic (EtE) plans. What makes these initiatives unique– in addition to their ambition– is that they are driven by community leaders, including people living with HIV. In the spirit of the Denver Principles, these plans should be by and for those communities directly impacted by the epidemic. Recently, the Trump administration has announced that it will draft its own national EtE plan by mid-2019. This obviously raises many concerns. First and foremost, can the drafting of such a plan possibly truly be led by the communities disproportionately impacted by the epidemic, when these very communities are facing direct attacks by the current administration? In order to preserve the community-led spirit of EtE work, Act Now End AIDS (ANEA) – a national coalition of EtE leaders – intends to draft a community-led national plan. We will engage in a broad, multi-tiered process to collect as much information from impacted communities around the country as possible in order to accurately reflect what we need to end the HIV epidemic for all of us.
To add your comments, CLICK http://www.nmac.org/input-requested-a-national-community-led-plan-to-end-hiv-aids-as-an-epidemic/

 

WATCH: AIDS 2018: What Happened and What’s Next?

The Kaiser Family Foundation and the Global Health Policy Center at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) held a briefing to assess the major outcomes of the 2018 International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2018), held from July 23-27 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The discussion touched on the latest scientific developments; the current funding climate for the AIDS response; and other major developments to the field emerging from the conference. The panel included:

  • Ambassador Deborah L. Birx, the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator;
  • Chris Beyrer, professor at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and past president of the International AIDS Society;
  • Jen Kates, KFF vice president and director of Global Health and HIV Policy;
  • Greg Millett, Vice President and Director, Public Policy, at amfAR; and
  • Stephen Morrison, senior vice president and director of the Global Health Policy Center at CSIS.

For more information, WATCH  https://www.kff.org/global-health-policy/event/august-10-event-aids-2018-what-happened-and-whats-next/?utm_campaign=KFF-2018-August-HIV-Event-International-AIDS-Conference&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=65160034&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-9gHHBVSS5wS2kNwVWE3GXjX82BGYJ7_z5cGNfHwfuGED9fYE0Y03haRuxh06y0HA8SE4wdPZakxNKHRIPN-aCBI1a8PQ&_hsmi=65160034

 

Protect Medicaid a Key Part of the Social Safety Net

The purpose of Medicaid is to provide health care to low-income people. But in Kentucky, the state estimated 95,000 people would lose Medicaid. A federal judge ruled that Kentucky’s waiver could not be approved, because HHS hadn’t taken into account the likelihood that their policies would run counter to Medicaid’s purpose. So HHS has reopened the comment period on Kentucky’s Medicaid work requirement waiver plan through August 18 (this Saturday at 11:00 p.m. ET). They are looking to get more comments favoring work requirements.  HHS Secretary Alex Azar wants to approve them, despite the court’s ruling. But the judge was persuaded by the previous comments that the KY policy would deny medical assistance, not provide it. And Mississippi has its own waiver request for work requirements.  Parents in Mississippi can only qualify for Medicaid if their income is less than 27 percent of the poverty line ($84 a week for a mom and child). It’s a classic Catch-22: if very poor parents enrolled in Mississippi Medicaid don’t work, they will lose their health care. If they do work enough to comply, they will earn too much to qualify for Medicaid and will lose their health care.

Our friends at the Coalition on Human Need have created a template to submit your comments on the issue.

Click here for the link to have your voice heard on this issue 

The dangerous public charge conversation is back

Trump Administration is again looking at the issue of public charge. This policy would again tear apart families. If it moves forward, it would target legal immigrants who make less than $63,000 a year and their children. Trump is punishing people who wait years for a visa to come to America, work hard, and build a better life for themselves and their family. As many as 100 million people in the U.S. would fail themselves. Trump’s anti-immigrant attacks put families in danger.

For more information, VISIT → https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/poverty/reports/2018/07/19/453174/trumps-immigration-plan-imposes-radical-new-income-health-tests/ 

 

What You Can Do

TAKE ACTION: It is very important that our elected officials hear from us to protect federal HIV funding for HIV prevention and care.  Speak truth to power by sharing your personal stories with your elected officials. It is vitally important to meet your federal elected officials when they are at home. If we don’t support and advocate for HIV funding and programs, who will?  Our movement cannot afford to stand on the sidelines.  Your U.S. Senators and U.S. Representatives need to hear from you.

Also, MAKE SURE THAT YOU ARE REGISTERED TO VOTE in time for the primary and general elections happening this year:

Wyoming 8/21/2018
New Hampshire 8/29/2018

For more information, VISIT→ https://www.eac.gov/voters/register-and-vote-in-your-state/

Finally, PARTICIPATE IN THE PRIMARY ELECTION(S) in your state:

Alaska 8/21/2018
Wyoming 8/21/2018
Arizona 8/28/2018
Florida 8/28/2018

For more information, VISIT→ http://www.ncsl.org/research/elections-and-campaigns/2018-state-primary-election-dates.aspx

 

What NMAC is Doing About It

  • NMAC remains vigilant in its advocacy to protect FY19 government funding and the existence of the social safety net.

NMAC released a Biomedical HIV Prevention “Blueprint” entitled Expanding Access to Biomedical HIV Prevention: Tailoring Approaches for Effectively Serving Communities of Color, a new report that establishes strategies to effectively use techniques such as Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) and Treatment as Prevention (TasP) to end the HIV epidemic in communities x`of color. The full report can be found by visiting www.nmac.org/blueprint

Social Media Fellows Chosen for USCA

USCA 2018 LogoOur USCA Social Media Fellowship program has chosen 17 participants out of more than 150 applicants for this year’s conference. The Fellows will work together to tell stories from USCA on their social media platforms that will be shared and distributed by USCA partner FHI 360.

Aaron Anderson Allen Park, MI
Alex Moz Washington, DC
Alexis Powell Baton Rouge, LA
Arnoldo Galindo Las Vegas, NV
Brandaun Dean Washington, DC
Chinedu Nwokeafor Baltimore, MD
Claire Gasamagera Allen Park, MI
Derek Baugh Lithia Springs, GA
Eddie Gonzalez Houston, TX
George Johnson Brooklyn, NY
Jarred Clemons Memphis, TN
Jennifer Vaughan Watsonville, CA
Kavon Jones El Cerrito, CA
Krupa Mehta Baltimore, MD
Lazaro Solorzano Jr Capitol Heights, MD
Sam Graper Orlando, FL
Tiffany Marrero Deerfield, FL
Xiomara Mora-Lopez West New York, NJ

Congratulations to all of the 2018 USCA Social Media Fellows! We are very excited to see what you can do.

My Perspective: The 2018 International Conference on AIDS

By Linda H. Scruggs, Acting Director, NMAC’s Leadership Pipeline Program

A few weeks ago, I had the great opportunity to travel to Amsterdam, Netherlands to attend the 22nd International AIDS Conference (IAC), which I learned while in Amsterdam, “is the largest conference on any global health issue in the world.” The 2018 conference theme was “Breaking Barriers, Building Bridges.” The theme implores the HIV community to continue to maintain and expand its commitment to addressing social determinants of health using social justice and human rights frameworks to reach key populations. I was particularly interested in hearing about pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) uptake and services, progress towards the 90-90-90 target, increasing capacity for test and treat via differentiated service delivery approaches, client outreach and retention methods, and responding to the criminalization of HIV transmission.

The importance of redoubling our efforts to remove harmful HIV criminalization laws

I must say I was also very excited to see that global HIV advocates and allies are working together to bring attention and to change policies that unfairly criminalize HIV. In addition to presentations in the Global Village and the main conference, HIV Justice Worldwide organized a pre-conference symposium, “Beyond Blame: Challenging HIV Criminalization,” which focused on identifying ways in which punitive laws and their enforcement can be rigorously challenged.

I have been following HIV criminalization domestically through the work of the SERO Project and the Positive Women’s Network-USA and how these bad laws have altered our right to disclosure, an often lifesaving decision for people living with HIV, particularly women. The advocacy community has been successful at changing the hearts and minds of members of the HIV community and even changing laws at the state level. As is also noted by these advocates, much remains to be done to ensure that people living with HIV as well as our brothers and sisters sitting in prison or awaiting processing through the criminal justice system are free from the draconian nature of these laws.

The diversity of people living with HIV who chose to lift their voices on this issue at AIDS 2018 profoundly moved me. It gave me an opportunity to hear the impact of HIV criminalization through a different set of lenses to hone in on how these bad laws are a significant deterrent to global and domestic efforts to end the epidemic. Fueled with a new sense of urgency, I have decided to make this one of the cornerstone issues for upcoming women initiatives NMAC will support this year.

The invisibility of women of African descent from developed countries at AIDS 2018

As I shift to another thought of AIDS 2018, I want to express my gratitude to the organizers of another event I attended specifically for and by women of African descent impacted by HIV. Women Now! under the leadership of SisterLove, in partnership with the Global Network of People with AIDS (GNP+), and HIV women networks from Africa and across the globe have taken up the leadership mantle to organize women of the African diaspora living with and affected by HIV. Over 125 women primarily of African descent from around the globe were in attendance at Women Now! 2018, a three-day Summit preceding AIDS 2018. At Women Now! 2018, I experienced powerful speakers, group discussions, and actions. One action, in particular, led to a representative from a global health organization committing to bring women, particularly women of African descent, to the forefront of the global HIV movement and ensure gender and cultural responses to ending the epidemic.

During this discourse, two concerns became clear to me during the course of this three-day summit. The first concern is the untold story of Black or women of African descent living with HIV who live in so-called developed countries (a.k.a., high-income countries). The second concern is the tension between Black women living with HIV from low-income countries and high-income countries resulting from how each group experiences HIV.

A. A story within a story. 
In principle and practice, it is crucial for the global community to hold high-income countries accountable for addressing the needs of countries in need of resources to fight the HIV epidemic. I support these efforts. The gains we have witnessed would not be possible without this support and the advocacy of many global HIV advocates and activist who made this happen. On the other hand, it is essential for the worldwide community also to acknowledge that many of the Black communities across the U.S. are experiencing not only disproportionate rates in their home countries but HIV rates of infection and mortality rates comparable to HIV rates in South Africa and other parts of Africa. We need our global brothers and sisters to advocate for a PEPFAR to address the health disparities of black and brown people in developed countries. Despite the scientific and service delivery innovations, Black people in the U.S., as around the globe, still have higher rates of HIV and higher rates of mortality. We need your support in our fight as well.

B. Same story but different perspective.
In the HIV discourse over the last five years, I have witnessed the disappearance of women living with HIV, explicitly black women living with HIV. Astonishingly, coming to Amsterdam revealed that black women living with HIV from high-income countries are also held to a different standard than our African sisters living with HIV. Some of this misperception could be how the HIV epidemic is characterized by high income vs. low-income countries with little to no flexibility allowed for consideration of impoverished communities and communities of color in these high-income countries. Racism and sexism work are structural factors, which affect the everyday lives of people of color and women across the globe.

I hope that as we continue to develop new programs and opportunities, that we be mindfully diligent to create meaningful platforms where we can learn about each other across the globe and devise plans for how we can meaningfully support one another. Over the next few months, NMAC’s Leadership Pipeline will look to develop new partnerships with women-focused organizations and networks to help and provide engagement to ensure that women of color are strengthened and provided the tools to create a new dialogue that moves us closer to ending this epidemic.

NMAC Welcomes 2018 HIV 50+ Strong and Healthy Scholars!

HIV 50
NMAC Welcomes 2018
HIV 50+ Strong and Healthy Scholars!

USCA 2018 LogoNMAC is pleased to announce the 2018 HIV 50+ Strong and Healthy Scholars! Our goal is to educate and build leadership among people over 50 living with HIV. Through this year-long program, the selected scholars find/affirm their purpose, expand their scope, and offers the chance to reinvent themselves to become active individuals in their respective communities.

The HIV 50+ Scholars will attend the U.S. Conference on AIDS (USCA), held September 6-9 in Orlando, FL. During the conference, they will participate in sessions meant to advance their leadership skills, build community, and enhance their advocacy skills.

Congratulations to the following scholars for their acceptance into the 2018 HIV 50+ Strong and Healthy Program:

FIRST NAME LAST NAME CITY STATE
Sylvester Askins Portsmouth Virginia
Wanda Brendle-Moss Winston-Salem North Carolina
Reginald Brown Brooklyn New York
Robert Cooke Washington District of Columbia
Ms Billie Cooper San Francisco California
Robert Cornelius Chattanooga Tennessee
Miguel A. Delgado-Ramos Cidra Puerto Rico
Sonya Edwards Houston Texas
Regis Fontenot Arlington Texas
Zeke Garcia San Antonio Texas
Paul Grace-Neal Oxon Hill Maryland
Christine Kapiioho Wailuku Hawaii
Kenneth Lamb Bellingham Washington
Steven Manning San Antonio Texas
Rodney McCoy Silver Spring Maryland
Terry Munn Durham North Carolina
Raphiatou Noumbissi Havertown Pennsylvania
Kneeshe Parkinson Arnold Missouri
Debra Parmer Richmond Heights Ohio
Venice Price Chula Vista California
Michele Princeton Cleveland Ohio
Rosa Rivera Aviles San Juan Puerto Rico
Raul Robles Chula Vista California
Ricardo Rodney East Orange New Jersey
Alexa Rodriguez Washington District Of Columbia
Juan M Rodriguez Lopez Washington District Of Columbia
Thomas Sampson CHICAGO Illinois
Brenda Vanneza Scalant Pembroke pines Florida
Janice Shirley CHARLOTTE North Carolina
Jonathan Spain Virginia Beach Virginia
John Tenorio Canon City Colorado
Robin Webb Cleveland Mississippi
Martha Zuniga Seattle Washington
 

Returning Scholars from Previous Cohorts (2016 & 2017)

FIRST NAME LAST NAME CITY STATE
Nicholas Alvarado San Francisco California
Nikki Calma San Francisco California
Randall Furrow Phoenix Arizona
Lillibeth Gonzalez NYC New York
Rick Guasco Chicago Illinois
Jared Hafen Salt Lake City Utah
Michele Jackson Rollins Cleveland Ohio
Eric Jannke Palm Springs California
Bryan Jones Cleveland Ohio
Patricia(Pat) Kelly Orangeburg South Carolina
Randal Lucero Albuquerque New Mexico
Russelle Miller-Hill New York New York
Robert Pompa Jim Thorpe Pennsylvania
Joey Pons San Juan Puerto Rico
Rob Quinn Boston Massachusetts
Robert Riester Denver Colorado
Esther Ross Greenville North Carolina
Nancy Shearer Santa Monica California
Michael G. Smith Santa Fe New Mexico
Valerie Spencer Pomona California

Special Note: Standard Registration for USCA ends on Friday, August 10, 2018. For more information about this and all of the conference’s registration rates visit the USCA registration page: here

Important Happenings in HIV/Health Policy

Important Happenings in
HIV/Health Policy

Week Ending: August 3, 2018
By: Matthew Rose & Sable K. Nelson

Opportunities for Input: Let Your Voice be Heard

Leading up to the US Conference on AIDS (USCA) in September, Act Now: End AIDS is soliciting community input to inform the creation of a federal plan to end the epidemic. It is vital that we hear from affected communities from around the country. There are four primary ways to make your voice heard:

  1. An online recommendation form at https://survey.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_eWde8Hsj4p0L4UJ. SUBMISSIONS DUE BY AUGUST 10.
  2. Online webinars covering key recommendation topics ( prevention and testing, care and treatment, structural interventions, research, viral hepatitis, sexually transmitted infections, opioids and the overdose epidemic, data and metrics.
  3. Web-based meetings and conference calls led by and soliciting input from specific affected communities
  4. An in person pre-USCA meeting to discuss an early draft of the plan to be held on September 5 in Orlando, FL.

We invite you to use any and all of these options to provide recommendations for the plan. The online form may be used for as many recommendations as you want to submit. While individuals are absolutely invited to submit online recommendation forms, we also encourage submissions from groups.

 

Research Confirms Targeted HIV Interventions Needed for Older Adults and LatinX Communities

A recent study published by the University of California – Riverside argues that interventions are urgently needed to reach older adults and Hispanics to address HIV testing and beliefs. The study entitled “How age and ethnicity impact HIV testing” looks into the many barriers that prevent people from getting tested for HIV, including lack of knowledge, competing priorities during medical visits, and stigma associated with the test on the part of both the patient and provider.
For more information, READ https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/08/180803160245.htm

 

Hospital Cost Transparency
On August 2, 2018, the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) released its annual Inpatient Prospective Payment System rule. The mandate, which takes effect on January 1, is aimed at boosting price transparency and accessibility. Starting in 2019, hospitals will be required to “make public a list of their standard charges via the Internet in a machine readable format, and to update this information at least annually.” Hospitals previously had to make their prices available only upon request. Patient advocate organizations may find this transparency effort somewhat toothless, as CMS had already required hospitals to make their standard charges public. CMS had originally floated the prospect of imposing additional transparency provisions but opted against any immediate action in the final rule.

For more information, READ  http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/400279-new-trump-admin-rule-requires-hospitals-post-prices-online; https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/finance/cms-final-inpatient-payment-rule-for-2019-9-things-to-know.html

 

Watch: What You Should Know about the New Rule on Short-Term Health Plans
The Trump administration moved to finalize a rule that allows people to purchase health care plans that do not comply with all of the regulations set by the Affordable Care Act. While these plans are typically less expensive than plans sold in the individual market exchanges, they provide less coverage and fewer benefits. Under the Trump administration’s new rule, these plans can now last as long as 12 months — instead of the Obama-era 90-day limit — and be renewed for two additional years. Critics say these changes are part of another swipe at the Affordable Care Act. 

For more information, WATCH → https://khn.org/news/watch-what-you-should-know-about-the-new-rule-on-short-term-health-plans/?utm_campaign=KHN%20-%20Weekly%20Edition&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=64960239&_hsenc=p2ANqtz–FZPiSKDT38eqKEcfKVA_JcsKxxpjDbDPFAq3MFZDzMNmmZjgJuVOPrQnZIxsrcX3sGrxwB5n6nWCKyEyeZ3ggAtbWPQ&_hsmi=64960239 

 

What You Can Do

TAKE ACTION: It is very important that our elected officials hear from us to protect federal HIV funding for HIV prevention and care. Speak truth to power by sharing your personal stories with your elected officials. It is vitally important to meet your federal elected officials when they are at home. If we don’t support and advocate for HIV funding and programs, who will?  Our movement cannot afford to stand on the sidelines.  Your U.S. Senators and U.S. Representatives need to hear from you.

Also, MAKE SURE THAT YOU ARE REGISTERED TO VOTE in time for the primary and general elections happening this year:

Delaware 8/11/2018
Rhode Island 8/12/2018
Vermont 8/14/2018
Massachusetts 8/15/2018
Wyoming 8/21/2018
New Hampshire 8/29/2018

For more information, VISIT→ https://www.eac.gov/voters/register-and-vote-in-your-state/

Finally, PARTICIPATE IN THE PRIMARY ELECTION(S) in your state:

Hawaii 8/11/2018
Minnesota 8/14/2018
Wisconsin 8/14/2018
Connecticut 8/14/2018
Vermont 8/14/2018
Alaska 8/21/2018
Wyoming 8/21/2018
Arizona 8/28/2018
Florida 8/28/2018

For more information, VISIT→ http://www.ncsl.org/research/elections-and-campaigns/2018-state-primary-election-dates.aspx

 

What NMAC is Doing About It

  • NMAC remains vigilant in its advocacy to protect FY19 government funding and the existence of the social safety net.
  • NMAC releaseda Biomedical HIV Prevention “Blueprint” entitled Expanding Access to Biomedical HIV Prevention: Tailoring Approaches for Effectively Serving Communities of Color, a new report that establishes strategies to effectively use techniques such as Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) and Treatment as Prevention (TasP) to end the HIV epidemic in communities of color. The full report can be found by visiting nmac.org/blueprint.

Important Happenings in HIV/Health Policy

Important Happenings in
HIV/Health Policy

Week Ending: July 24, 2018
By: Matthew Rose & Sable K. Nelson

Opportunities for Input: Let Your Voice be Heard

Leading up to the US Conference on AIDS (USCA) in September, Act Now: End AIDS will solicit community input to inform the creation of a federal plan to end the epidemic. However it is important that we hear from affected communities from around the country in four primary ways:

  1. An online recommendation form at

https://survey.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_eWde8Hsj4p0L4UJ . SUBMISSIONS DUE BY AUGUST 10.

  1. Online webinars covering key recommendation topics ( prevention and testing, care and treatment, structural interventions, research, viral hepatitis, sexually transmitted infections, opioids and the overdose epidemic, data and metrics)
  2. Web-based meetings and conference calls led by and soliciting input from specific affected communities
  1. An in person pre-USCA meeting to discuss an early draft of the plan to be held on September 5 in Orlando, FL

We invite you to use any and all of these options to provide recommendations for the plan. The online form may be used for as many recommendations as you want to submit. While individuals are absolutely invited to submit online recommendation forms, we also encourage submissions from groups.

Pharmacy Gag Rule

Last Wednesday, the Senate passed the pharmacy gag rule. What is the pharmacy gag rule? It prevent pharmacists from telling patients that they could save money on their prescriptions. The bill, S. 2554, sponsored by Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), would outlaw pharmacy benefit management (PBM) contracts that restrict pharmacists from telling consumers if they could save money by buying a drug directly or using assistance programs rather than using their insurance co-pay. Next steps are for the bill to be put on the calendar for a vote before the full U.S. Senate. For more information, READ → https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/jul/25/susan-collins-writes-bill-to-ban-gag-clauses-at-ph/

Check Out the Kaiser Health News’ Podcast: ‘What The Health?’
In the most recent episode of Kaiser Health News’ “What the Health?”, Julie Rovner of Kaiser Health News, Anna Edney of Bloomberg News, Alice Ollstein of Talking Points Memo, and Kimberly Leonard of the Washington Examiner talk about the new push on health legislation by Republicans in the House, as well as developments on Medicaid work requirements, drug prices, and the fate of children separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexican border. Plus, for extra credit, the panelists offer their favorite health stories of the week. For more information, LISTEN → https://khn.org/news/podcast-khns-what-the-health-congress-and-health-care-again/?utm_campaign=KHN%20-%20Weekly%20Edition&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=64787216&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-9X6ycxHo_weKq7UQE4wOfsTu65loYZIBnZtVtoaJtBYVhwt5SSnSpUH-fmCmB9g5MuriDBLsZrNQTndEizDfeUZmWYkA&_hsmi=64787216

What You Can Do

TAKE ACTION: It is very important that our elected officials hear from us to protect federal HIV funding for HIV prevention and care. Speak truth to power by sharing your personal stories with your elected officials. It is vitally important to meet with your federal elected officials when they are at home. If we don’t support and advocate for HIV funding and programs, who will?  Our movement cannot afford to stand on the sidelines.  Your U.S. Senators and U.S. Representatives need to hear from you.

Also, MAKE SURE THAT YOU ARE REGISTERED TO VOTE in time for the primary and general elections happening this year:

Connecticut 8/9/2018
Delaware 8/11/2018
Rhode Island 8/12/2018
Vermont 8/14/2018
Massachusetts 8/15/2018
Wyoming 8/21/2018
New Hampshire 8/29/2018

For more information, VISIT→ https://www.eac.gov/voters/register-and-vote-in-your-state/

Finally, PARTICIPATE IN THE PRIMARY ELECTION(S) in your state:

Tennessee 8/2/2018
Michigan 8/7/2018
Washington 8/7/2018
Missouri 8/7/2018
Kansas 8/7/2018
Hawaii 8/11/2018
Minnesota 8/14/2018
Wisconsin 8/14/2018
Connecticut 8/14/2018
Vermont 8/14/2018
Alaska 8/21/2018
Wyoming 8/21/2018
Arizona 8/28/2018
Florida 8/28/2018

For more information, VISIT→ http://www.ncsl.org/research/elections-and-campaigns/2018-state-primary-election-dates.aspx

What NMAC is Doing About It

NMAC remains vigilant in its advocacy to protect FY19 government funding and the existence of the social safety net.

Important Happenings in HIV/Health Policy

Important Happenings in
HIV/Health Policy

Week Ending: July 20, 2018
By: Matthew Rose & Sable K. Nelson

NOTE: The 22nd International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2018) is occurring in Amsterdam, Netherlands from July 23-27, 2018. For more information, visit: https://www.aids2018.org/

 

The Kaiser Family Foundation Updates its Global HIV/AIDS Timeline

Now updated through 2018, the Global HIV/AIDS Timeline is designed to serve as an ongoing reference tool for the many political, scientific, cultural, and community developments that have occurred over the history of the epidemic. For more information, READ https://www.kff.org/global-health-policy/timeline/global-hivaids-timeline/?utm_campaign=KFF-2018-The-Latest&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=64613778&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-8vtTYa61sQsqAwZFRO3ynj2PwwVdgfMhp9Os0eIlijTmRdj21Fzt67oniq9XkjTv7kAao1hX_zUpkLfkA0qBY3xHLVNw&_hsmi=64613778. You can also take the updated HIV/AIDS quiz to test your knowledge of the global epidemic.

 

amfAR Releases New Reports on Long-Acting HIV Treatment and Prevention 

Last week, amfAR and the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law hosted a briefing at Georgetown Law in connection with the release of four new amfAR reports, “Long-Acting HIV Treatment and Prevention Are Coming: Preparing for Potential Game Changers.” The purpose of these documents is to highlight the education and policy dialogues needed to prepare for innovative long-acting products under development to treat and prevent HIV infection.  For more information about the briefing, please read the following blog post on the O’Neill Institute blog: http://oneill.law.georgetown.edu/amfar-and-the-oneill-institute-host-briefing-on-long-acting-hiv-treatment-and-prevention/. The reports may be accessed at http://www.amfar.org/Long-Acting-ARV/.

 

Provisions of Affordable Care Act Under Attack

It is likely that the U.S. House of Representatives will consider three bills related to health care next week. One bill will permanently repeal the Obamacare tax on medical devices. This bill passed the House on Tuesday, July 24.For more information, READ https://www.wsj.com/articles/house-votes-to-repeal-tax-on-medical-devices-1532467519. According to House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), the House will also vote on bills to expand health savings accounts (HSAs) and put a two-year delay on an Affordable Care Act’s insurance tax.

 

What You Can Do

TAKE ACTION: It is very important that our elected officials hear from us to protect federal HIV funding for HIV prevention and care. Speak truth to power by sharing your personal stories with your elected officials. It is vitally important to meet to your federal elected officials when they are at home. If we don’t support and advocate for HIV funding and programs, who will? Our movement cannot afford to stand on the sidelines. Your U.S. Senators and U.S. Representatives need to hear from you.

Also, MAKE SURE THAT YOU ARE REGISTERED TO VOTE in time for the primary and general elections happening this year!

For more information, VISIT→ https://www.eac.gov/voters/register-and-vote-in-your-state/

Finally, PARTICIPATE IN THE PRIMARY ELECTION(S) in your state!!!

For more information, VISIT→ http://www.ncsl.org/research/elections-and-campaigns/2018-state-primary-election-dates.aspx

Opportunities for Input: Let Your Voice be Heard

Leading up to the US Conference on AIDS (USCA) in September, Act Now: End AIDS will solicit input to inform the creation of a federal plan to end the epidemic. It is vital that we hear from affected communities from around the country in four primary ways:

  1. An online recommendation form at

https://survey.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_eWde8Hsj4p0L4UJ . SUBMISSIONS DUE BY AUGUST 10.

  1. Online webinars covering key recommendation topics ( prevention and testing, care and treatment, structural interventions, research, viral hepatitis, sexually transmitted infections, opioids and the overdose epidemic, data and metrics)
  2. Web-based meetings and conference calls led by and soliciting input from specific

affected communities

  1. An in person pre-USCA meeting to discuss an early draft of the plan to be held on September 5 in Orlando, FL

We invite you to use any and all of these options to provide recommendations for the plan. The online form may be used for as many recommendations as you want to submit. While individuals are absolutely invited to submit online recommendation forms, we also encourage submissions from groups.

 

What NMAC is Doing About It

  • NMAC remains vigilant in its advocacy to protect FY19 government funding and the existence of the social safety net.
  • NMAC releaseda Biomedical HIV Prevention “Blueprint” entitled Expanding Access to Biomedical HIV Prevention: Tailoring Approaches for Effectively Serving Communities of Color, a new report that establishes strategies to effectively use techniques such as Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) and Treatment as Prevention (TasP) to end the HIV epidemic in communities of color. The full report can be found by visiting nmac.org/blueprint.

Meet the 2018 Youth Initiative Scholars!

On behalf of NMAC and our funders – ViiV Healthcare, and collaborative partner Advocates for Youth, we are pleased to announce the 2018 Youth Initiative Scholars! This program empowers young leaders in the HIV community with leadership skills, as well as improves HIV and public health literacy to bring back and apply within their communities and organizations.

The 2017 Youth Initiative, now in its seventh year, brings together the next generation of leaders ages 18–25 (known as Youth Scholars) to participate in a seven-month, comprehensive program to help end the HIV epidemic in the U.S. As part of this program, Youth Scholars will gain opportunities to develop leadership, increase their knowledge, and build confidence while integrating key youth-specific messaging in local, state and national HIV/AIDS programs and advocacy agendas.

USCA 2018 LogoThe Youth Scholars will also attend the U.S. Conference on AIDS (USCA), held September 6-9 in Orlando, FL. During the conference, Youth Scholars will participate in sessions meant to advance their leadership skills, build confidence, and learn new ways to prioritize youth within HIV/AIDS programs and policies in their communities.

Congratulations to the following scholars for their acceptance into the 2018 Youth Initiative Program!

 

Raven Perry resides in Houston, TX. She has been a Community Health Worker working in HIV prevention and Fe for over a year. Prior to becoming a Community Health Worker, Raven was a student studying Health Science at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas where she was also a Peer Health Educator. She worked side by side with students on campus to advocate for important issues regarding student health and wellness. These issues included better access to STI testing, reducing stigma related to mental health, recognizing intimate partner violence, as well as many other important issues students in college face on a daily basis. Upon graduating, Raven became employed with Avenue 360 Health and Wellness as a Community Health Worker where she became trained in protocol-based counseling, HIV testing, and risk reduction for persons who are HIV negative, and those living with HIV. Raven also recognizes the importance of education as she teaches and facilitates monthly classes on women’s health and HIV at a women’s in-patient drug treatment facility, and facilitates an ‘HIV 101’ class at a Parole Office for persons who are recently released. While working at Avenue 360, Raven has become fiercely passionate about HIV prevention, education, and general sex education for youth of color. Therefore, she plans to take that passion, drive and hopes to learn on how to become a better advocate for those who are disproportionately affected and looks forward to participating in the 2018 Youth Initiative Program.

 

Jax Martin is a young and outspoken individual from West Palm Beach Florida and has a passion for serving those within the LGBT+ community. Jax served as the President of the Gay Straight Alliance at Boynton Beach Community High School. He attends and acts as a peer facilitator for Entourage, which is a young adult queer support group that meets at Compass, the Gay and Lesbian Community Center in Lake Worth. Since a young age, he has had a passion for HIV education prevention and treatment. Aspiring to work within the field, he volunteers in the HIV prevention department at Compass under the leadership of Dylan Brooks.  He feels a need to give back to the community that has given him so much. He looks up to Dylan heavily, and wants to make a difference in the community like his mentor. Jax excels in outreach and loves to talk to people and make connections, which has helped him within his aspiring career. He is very excited to be a part of the youth initiative!

 

 

Terrance Walker is a 23-year-old native of Houston, TX.  He currently resides in Oakland, CA where he serves as the Youth Activities Program Coordinator at AIDS Project of East Bay. His work in youth services began nearly six years ago as service recipient where Terrance worked to use his lived experiences to catalyze change within his community.  Now that he is a service provider he has the knowledge and resources to influence policy on a national level and a platform to effectively impact his peers. As an openly gay, black, millennial, he is passionate about the work that he does to educate LGBTQ youth of color about HIV prevention and care because he can see a piece of himself within each of them. Terrance believes that the only way to address stigma and confront misinformation is by initiating those uncomfortable conversations regarding sexual health with our young people without judgment or shame. He believes that we can work to end the HIV epidemic and someday reach an AIDS free generation if we work to foster a more harm reductive and sex positive culture for young people through education and empowerment.

 

Alixe Dittmore is a 24-year-old from California, who she grew up in northern Connecticut. She works as a Prevention Outreach Educator at AIDS Connecticut (ACT) in Hartford, CT and has been with ACT since January 2018. Her work is focused around HIV/STI education and prevention, as well as substance user health and harm reduction. She also in the process of being trained on HIV testing and counseling! Prior to her work at ACT, she was a student leader at the University of Connecticut focusing on harm reduction and sexual violence prevention. Alixe is now enrolled in the Applied Psychology Program at the University of Massachusetts Amherst with a focus on Victim Advocacy. She plans to continue her education with a concentration on the intersections of systems of oppression and public health. She believes that it’s absolutely vital to normalize conversations about the very real systemic oppression in our society against marginalized communities in order to adequately address the public health epidemic of HIV.

 

 

Donovan Carhuapoma is 21-years-old and considers himself to be a strong and uplifted individual. He was born and raised in Miami, Florida. His parents are from Lima, Peru. He has an older brother and a younger sister. He found growing up as the middle child to be pretty neat. During his early school years, he was shy and quiet, but as he got older he started coming out of his shell little by little. He started playing the flute at age 1, when he was in middle school. Playing his flute showed him what dedication and effort looked like meanwhile sparking a passion in him that is still present today. His high school years were filled with a lot of success academically, but also a ton of learning experiences that he holds close to him. He almost fell apart halfway into his high school career because he became overwhelmed with things that were not in his control. He is glad to say he overcame his tribulation and triumphed. He is a strong believer in being able to cope with things that happen in his life and in having the potential to achieve what he sets himself to do.

 

 

Kiman McIntosh is an 18-year old, first generation Jamaican-American boy, born and raised in Miami, Florida. Brought up by a single mother and a select group of her friends at a young age, he developed a love for the arts and indulged himself in sketching, mostly designing dresses. He is currently an amateur graphic and web designer. In retrospect, he would consider himself reserved and quiet to the extent that most of the people in his life never knew the sound of his voice until he was eight years old. As he grew older, he began to find the inklings of his voice while still battling the urge to remain silent due to his upbringing. He stands very firm in what he believes in and supports effective action. Kiman believes that he can be an activist and organizer because he has the passion to lead. Organizing is about mobilizing marginalized groups such as the HIV/AIDS community to disrupt and dismantle the stereotypes.

 

Jefferson (Jeff) Remo represents the state in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, Hawai’i. He is a 23-year-old, Filipino-American, born and raised on the island of Oahu. He graduated from the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa with a degree in Public Health, where he found a passion for health equity and social justice. During his undergrad, Jeff was able to do PrEP-related research with the Thai Red Cross AIDS Research in Bangkok, Thailand. As a young researcher, he learned the importance of engaging and involving priority populations to create and implement effective evidence-based interventions. Now as the PrEP and STD Program Coordinator at the Hawai’i Health and Harm Reduction Center, the oldest and largest AIDS Service Organization in the state of Hawai’i, he works with priority populations in Honolulu to successfully access HIV biomedical interventions. Jeff also works alongside neighbor-island ASOs, Hawaii’s Department of Health, and other key stakeholders to eliminate the structural and social barriers that fuel the health-disparities with the populations he works with. He is excited to represent the state of Hawaii and be a voice for youth, Native Hawaiians, Asians, and other Pacific Islanders in NMAC’s 2018 Youth Initiative.

 

Alfredo Flores is a proud Queer Latinx from the Little Village neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois. Alfredo recently completed his Associates in Science and is eager to complete his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. Alfredo is currently a Care Coordinator at Chicago House & Social Service Agency where he assists individuals that are newly diagnosed with HIV and those that are not in care by linking them to a permanent medical home. In his prior work experience, he has been an HIV Tester and also facilitated a Center for Disease Control (CDC) intervention called Mpowerment. Aside from his required job duties, Alfredo has organized large scale events for local agencies that include community mixers, fashion shows, fundraisers and social events. Alfredo has also been featured in a national campaign called #DoingIt/Haciendolo by Act Against AIDS. Alfredo’s commitment to the field has been shaped by working with those most vulnerable to HIV, especially working with those who are Latinx, undocumented and those who are monolingual Spanish speaking. He hopes to continue being a resource for those most vulnerable and empowering them to speak their truth without fear.

 

Jai Lei Yee (pronouns he, they, ze/zir) is a 25-year-old, a queer aromantic asexual, a nonbinary genderfluid person, and a 1.5 generation Chinese-American. They consider the San Francisco East Bay their home since they grew up in Oakland and San Leandro. They have a B.A. in Gender and Women’s Studies, and Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies with an LGBT minor from UC Berkeley. Before 2012, they had never heard of PrEP and had never saw themselves represented in conversations about HIV prevention as a young queer Asian American trans person. In 2012, their queer man of color counselor told them about PrEP.  It was in their current role as a PrEP Navigator at the San Francisco Community Health Center that they realized how barriers such as stigma against people who take PrEP and lack of community dialogue about PrEP limit its use in queer and trans people of color. They are honored to be a recipient of the 2018 NMAC Youth Initiative and strive to learn from their peers and from people in different generations. When not working, they are part of different artistic workshops focused on queer and trans people of color where they learn new things.

 

Reginald Ford is a senior at Old Dominion University, majoring in Business Administration and looking to pursue his master’s degree in Business Administration and Communications in 2020. He is a full-time Graphic Design & Events Manager for a local non-profit in Virginia and owns a creative design company. Reginald has an extensive background in graphic design, special events, fundraising, and marketing. Through the many successes in his life, he has also had some life-changing experiences. Through these experiences, it has led him to his passion for helping students to continue towards post-secondary education, fighting to spread awareness of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and graphic designing. This opportunity with NMAC will allow him to help advocate for those living with HIV/AIDS and to help prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS. Also, this program will allow Reginald to grow as an individual and to continue to help drive his community to become more inclusive and aware.

 

 

 

Justice Long is an openly HIV positive, pansexual, two spirited individual currently living in Jacksonville, FL. They found out they were HIV positive at the age of 16. Shortly after their diagnosis, they became affiliated with a local organization that helped them to identify the emotions they were feeling and taught them how to cope with these emotions in a positive manner. The organization also helped Justice to mold their voice and realize that there are others out there who are either going through or went through the same situation or worse than them. By sharing their story, they could not only help those people but also save others at the same time. Since then they have traveled the country doing speaking engagements, campaigns, panels, and group discussions regarding not only HIV/AIDs but also LGBTQ rights, youth empowerment, incarceration, mental health, homelessness, and suicide, as well as policy reform and cultural/linguistic competency. Their motto is, “if you’re not infected, you’re affected. If you’re affected, you’re effected. So why not stand for a cause that infects everyone affected with effectiveness.” #ActualReality #ActUp #EndAids

 

 

Maliek Yuseef Powell is an American, community activist, writer, and visionary from Birmingham, Alabama. He was born on July 12, 1992. He started his activism journey, specifically of HIV and mens health issues, in 2012 when he tested HIV positive with an AIDS diagnoses. Maliek was nineteen years old and attending a local community college majoring in radio and television broadcasting at the time. Eventually dropping out, and secretly falling into a state of depression, he found himself on a mission to learn as much as he could about his new ailment. Maliek started a personal research of his own by finding and connecting with HIV positive individuals though social media. In 2013, nearly a year to the date he tested positive, he made a post to his personal social media outlets disclosing his HIV positive status to many of his friends, family, and followers. Since then he has worked with many local and national organizations that specialize in the fight against AIDS. His mission is to always to bring a current view into HIV, while shifting the stigma that surrounds the epidemic, and amplifying the conversations we all have when it comes not only to HIV/AIDS but all men health disparities.

 

Gregory Meredith was born and raised in Southeast, Washington D.C. to Diana Shelton and Gregory S. Meredith on February 14, 1998. He experienced hardship at an early age after the passing of both his mother and father, which brought him closer to God and his Grandmother. Despite of his childhood tragedy, Gregory was persistent with maintaining and excelling in his educational career goals. He received his high school diploma from Washington Mathematics Science Technology, PCHS where he transferred from Duke Ellington School of the Arts. Gregory currently serves as a Health Impact Specialist with the DC Department of Health, partnering and collaborating with local community based organizations with health screenings, outreach activities and conference trainings to better serve his community. His most prominent achievement is his recent collaboration with Us Helping Us, People Into Living Inc. (UHUPIL), Washington D.C.’s largest Black HIV/AIDS organization. While working with UHUPIL, Gregory’s passion grew for helping people and ending the stigma that comes with the HIV epidemic. Gregory plans to continue his journey as a Public Health Worker and strives to make a change in his community and the communities around him.

 

Darriyhan Edmond is a 23-year-old young, gay, black man born and raised in Gary, Indiana. Darriyhan has always been involved with his community, he loves helping to build, uplift, and support others. He knew that his purpose in life was to be a positive figure within his community. On November 13 of 2013, at the age of 18, he was diagnosed with HIV. After being diagnosed with HIV, he took the time to educate himself on HIV, prevention, care and treatment. With the knowledge he gained he began to share it with family and close friends. He loved the feeling he got from sharing that information; 3 months into living with HIV, he decided to become an HIV advocate and dedicate himself to bringing HIV awareness to his community and to help fight the stigma surrounding HIV. His favorite quote is, “The fears we don’t face becomes our limits”. He is a strong believer in the fact you can become whatever you set yourself out to be and HIV should not hinder you from accomplishing your goals. In 2016, he decided to leave Gary and move to Atlanta, GA where he continued his involvement in the community with HIV. Darriyhan is a member of the 2018 Build-A-Brother-Institute of NAESM, as well as a participant in the NMAC’s BYLOC (Building Young Leaders of Color) program. He is currently the founder and project director of Project RED Paint, a project he started to help provide support, empowerment, knowledge, and acceptance to individuals living with or affected by HIV. By participating in the Youth’s Initiative program of 2018, he hopes to gain additional knowledge about HIV and the opportunity to meet and connect with other HIV advocates. He is excited to attend USCA for the first time this year.

 

Ariel Sabillon was born in Honduras. At the age of ten, he relocated to South Florida due to poverty and violence in his hometown. He was diagnosed as HIV+ during his junior year of high school. Now in college, Ariel is the president of student-run organization Advocates for Immigrant and Refugee Rights. Ariel is an advocate for young people living with HIV and for immigrants – particularly Central American immigrants. He seeks to challenge the ways in which we view national identity – opting instead to look beyond borders and reach out to a more global community. As part of the FL HIV Justice Coalition, he wishes to modernize laws regarding that criminalize HIV “exposure” in the state of Florida.

 

 

Jordan Delfyette is from Brooklyn, New York. Growing up as a child, he really didn’t have an idea who he wanted to be, but he knew what he wanted to do and that was to help people. Being raised by his grandmother and watching her be a caretaker to her mother, 14 siblings, nieces and nephews and at work. He watched her do what he thought was the impossible in helping people. Jordan didn’t know that he would grow up to share those same characteristics. Watching her taught him to carry compassion, patience, and love. Through the art of writing he could verbally express his deep thoughts and emotions on paper which he used to captivate his audience. “Dialogue became my healing as well as healing for others”. In his free time, he practices the art of dance which became an outlet for his mental, emotional, and spiritual being.

 

 

Marnina Miller is a Michigan native currently residing in Houston, Texas. She fell in love with activism after joining Positive Organizing Project, amovement that trains people living with HIV on how to become effective HIV activists. This out and proud, Black queer young woman facilitates trainings on anti-stigmatizing language, effective leadership, sex positivity, and community organizing. At Positive Women’s Network-USA, she is a 2018 Public Policy Fellow, and a member of the Strategic Communications Action team. Marnina is a youth ambassador for Youth Across Borders where she spent time at Montaña de Luz, orphanage for children living with HIV in Honduras. She is also the Co-Chair for the Texans Living with HIV Network, and a recipient of the Violet Award, which recognizes LGBT advocates in Houston. She is also the graduate of the inaugural Building Young Leaders of Color (BYLOC) leadership training. Marnina is also a feature writer for the international online publication Life and Love with HIV where she is dismantling the stigma of women; developing, maintaining, and pursuing a healthy sex life one blog post at a time.

 

 

Hailing from the City of Atlanta, Jamaan Parker is no stranger to the field of HIV. Since his positive status diagnosis in 2014, Jamaan has worked diligently to create communities and environments that are POZ-friendly and incorporative. Mr. Parker began his HIV journey as a political advocate working with Georgia Equality as a YHPA (Youth HIV Policy Advisor). In this capacity, Jamaan worked with Georgia politicians and other elected officials to develop laws and policies that considered the daily struggles of people living with HIV. He believes that to effectively create policies and laws for people living with HIV, people living with HIV must be involved in the law-making process. He has taken a brief hiatus from advocacy, but continues to work with politicians and elected officials. Mr. Parker has found a new passion as a HIV Outreach Specialist. Jamaan provides HIV and Sexual Health Education, STI & STD Prevention, and Community Outreach. In his spare time, he is a part of a social movement called The He Is Valuable Project which reinforces and mobilizes the power of Black and Latino Queer men within all communities to address the HIV epidemic and the social injustices PWLWHA face. As a youth leader, Parker emphasizes that the youth should be at the forefront of the HIV epidemic. The youth’s voice is the change we need to shift the paradigm of HIV in America. Youth have the innovation and the ideas to reach goals in HIV that were never possible. However, there are very few resources and opportunities for self-development for Black and Latino POZ youth to be leaders in the community.  Jamaan Parker works to develop programming to educate and build Black and Latino youth leaders to be voices in the HIV community. Jamaan prides himself on self-development and gathering knowledge with the intent of disseminating that knowledge, information and resources with the hopes of community betterment.

 

Trevoy Johnson is a young emerging leader from the city of Chicago, IL. At an early age, he has been marked and known for having desire to know and do more. Johnson is an upcoming, all-around creative, having performed in numerous concerts, recordings, theatrical productions, and tours. A current Business Administration student of Robert Morris University, Johnson has worked to increase in education regarding leadership and the development of leaders. These aspirations have given Johnson keen discernment for the potential placed in others and the passion to see those potentials maximized. Johnson is also an active member of the Consumer Advisory Board at the Ruth M. Rothstein CORE Center in Chicago, IL. He has also been a participant of PreP awareness programs and studies through the University of Chicago since 2016. Aspiring to achieve his doctorates in Leadership, Trevoy Johnson is a dedicated to use creative arts and education to bring about knowledge, opportunities, training, and ultimately impactful results to his generation and generations to come.

 

 

 

Lisa Watkins is a youth advocate located in Memphis, Tennessee. She is 23-years-young and enjoys what she does. She is currently breaking from LeMoyne-Owen College where she is a second-year student majoring in Sociology with a minor in Psychology.  She is involved in many different organizations and groups such as AIDSWatch2016, Youth Leadership Initiative Memphis, Scale It Up! National YCAB, Nashville HIV Day on the Hill and a plethora of others. She has been honored and given the opportunity to join a few of the NMAC (National Minority Aids Council) Youth Scholar programs such as BYLOC (Building Youth Leaders of Color) and Youth Initiative. In her short years as an advocate, she has been asked to participate in magazine articles and also speak on her experience as a person living with HIV on a handful of panels and events. Lisa found this journey to stand for the causes such as HIV, suicide, and reproductive health and justice as a youth advocate is far from easy and will test your patience and ability at all times. Her role as a youth impacted by these causes is to use her voice to encourage other youth to use their own. She believes in raising awareness not only for the causes she stands for but to show elders that youth are still here, and they are important to include in the decisions made on their behalf. She plans to achieve a stronger bond with her peers and create a safe environment where youth aren’t scared to walk in their truth and make a change.

 

Representing Daly City, California, Julius Pikes-Prince is someone who brings all the sass and class! He’s currently majoring in fashion design. Julius would like to break the barriers in the fashion industry with his unique style. He wants to use his platform to help end the HIV and AIDS epidemic. His dedication to putting the end to the epidemic has led to him becoming a peer ambassador at LYRIC (Lavender Youth Recreation and Information Center, a San Francisco queer youth resource center). As a peer ambassador Julius helps provide PrEP education to youth in his community. He has become a powerful leader in San Francisco. His work in the community is unbelievable! He looks up to the late Harvey Milk. Harvey Milk has become one of his inspiration in life. Harvey has shaped the leader that Julius is today. In the near future, Julius would like to open his very own queer resource center for the youth. He would like to give back to the youth in his community and providing the services they need.

 

All of Corey Clark’s life, pain and pleasure has been one in the same; not in the aspect of enjoyment of being hurt, but the idea that there’s purpose in his journey. At the age of 13, he lost his mother, which was the catalyst for his transition to Milwaukee, Wi. from Greenville, Ms. If you know anything about either of the two places you may have a better idea of how “exciting & spontaneous” his life is.  At a young age, he became numb to violence and over time taught himself that he wasn’t meant to be loved. He discovered he was HIV positive at the age of seventeen, but not ever hearing of HIV he didn’t fully understand what his life meant at that point. After being exposed to the stigmas of HIV received from family, friends, and other close forms of relationships Corey quickly became aware of more than the possibility of AIDs. Some may look at this as a weird way of looking at it, but he believes that his numbness to certain things made it easier to deal with the following events: cultural stigma around being positive; being neglected by his support systems, experiencing homelessness, suicide attempts by putting himself in harms ways; developing alcoholic tendencies, depression, sex addiction, sex work and more. His only proclaimed privilege in those times was hi want and willingness to make meaning of the term life. In September of 2017, He attended the United States Conference on HIV/Aids where he was a participant of the Youth Initiative and he began a journey of entrepreneurship and self- discovery.

Not listed: Matthew Rodriguez-Thacker and Corie Easley*

 

Returning Scholars 2017

Tapakorn Prasertsith (pronouns: they/them/theirs) is a non-binary, 2nd generation Thai person living in the San Francisco Bay Area. They moved there to pursue the tech industry, but found a need elsewhere, in the marginalization and disparities in the cities, particularly with LGBT people of color and transgender communities. After volunteering at Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Center as an HIV Counselor, they were offered a position to start their PrEP program. Since then, Tapakorn has become the Program Supervisor for HIV Prevention for the same agency, re-branded now to San Francisco Community Health Center. They are honored to be a returning scholar this year and to be able to share their experience working with priority populations in Getting-to-Zero. In Tapakorn’s spare time, they compete in volleyball and video game tournaments, working within a niche community of “gaymers” to further HIV education, prevention, and treatment appropriate to where youth gather nowadays.

 

 

 

Tobeya Ibitayo is a Capacity Building Specialist at AIDS United working with the Getting to Zero Initiative. He brings experience in qualitative research, direct client service, and curriculum design and implementation. Previously, Tobeya was a Federal Insurance Navigator at the Missouri-based nonprofit, Saint Louis Effort for AIDS, where he provided health insurance literacy education and enrollment services through a state-wide network of service organizations and clinics. He has also served as a Teach For America corps member in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and as a math instructor with Blueprint Schools Network in East Saint Louis, Illinois. Tobeya received a BA in Anthropology and African & African American Studies from Washington University in St. Louis.

 

 

 

 

Jessica Zyrie is a black transgender model, advocate and the first transgender female clinical case manager at the Montrose Center. Jessica has used her platform to advocate for equality across the intersectionality of race and gender identity. Jessica Zyrie became public with her transition in October 2016 and has used her publicity to increase visibility and education for the community. She has advocated with local, state, and national organizations including, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Equality Texas, Transgender Education Network of Texas, Center for Disease Control, Gilead, Houston Health Department and has been featured internationally on Google Pride’s 2017 Campaign #IShowUp. Jessica has attended city wide events to address the mayor and council and has traveled to the capital for lobby days.  She has worked with many designers throughout the nation and has been published in countless magazines. She has been featured in online fashion editorials for major magazines including Essence, Elle, and Marie Claire magazines. Jessica Zyrie is motivated by the communities she belongs to, works with, and other communities facing discrimination and stigma. Her hope is to continue to inspire people to live in their truth, whatever realm that may fall in, because there is only one life and every individual deserves to live their life’s entirety, in truth, happiness, safety, and free from stigma.

 

In 2013, Kyle Rodriguez was diagnosed with HIV at the age of 18. Instead of letting the virus define him, he defined it. Shortly after becoming a client of AIDS Project New Haven (APNH), he became a volunteer offering support and information to young MSM in his community – regardless of their HIV status. Kyle’s passion for APNH and the fight against HIV allowed him to become employed full-time as an MPowerment Coordinator. Now, he is responsible for creating a more inclusive, healthier LGBTQ+ community through social activities, forums, and educational workshops surrounding HIV prevention and other relevant topics.

An integral part of Kyle’s personal and professional life is building flourishing relationships. Professionally, he has partnered with doctors, The New Haven Pride Center, and other grassroots LGBTQ+-focused organizations to raise awareness about HIV. His dedication for public health has led him to international levels. In addition to attending the 2018 BYLOC training and the 2017 Youth Initiative Program, Kyle has traveled to Honduras for a week-long, cross-cultural service trip at an HIV orphanage. In the fall, he will attend UConn as a double major in Public Health and Anthropology. When Kyle is not advocating, he likes to spend time with loved ones, hike, and exercise.

 

Danne’ Hughes is a young woman fighting to eliminate the alarming statistics that women and women of color face every day regarding HIV/AIDS. Although Danne’ is not HIV positive she, like many other women live, work, play and most importantly advocate within the HIV Positive and Negative community. Warriors who identify as HIV+ have taught Danne’ to always own your true self and to not apologize for who you are and what you represent. As a returning scholar, this is truly an honor for Danne’ as she is learning how to advocate for young women just like her. It has been a journey for her as she has to adapt to being vulnerable and tenacious while giving her all day by day striving for continuous improvement within the statistics. Currently occupying a position as a Health Educator, Danne’ has the pleasure of educating youth much like herself on how to prevent the spread of HIV. As a full-time mother, educator and student, Danne’s main goal is to spread the word and insure that HIV awareness becomes common knowledge in a way that is relatable, easy to understand and fun for everyone!

 

 

Special Note: Standard Registration for USCA ends on Friday, August 10, 2018. For more information about this and all of the conference’s registration rates visit the USCA registration page: here

Important Happenings in HIV/Health Policy

Important Happenings in
HIV/Health Policy

Week Ending: July 13, 2018
By: Matthew Rose & Sable K. Nelson

Ryan White Funding Clarification
A recent Slate article reported that internal documents from the Office of Refugee Resettlement, an agency within the Administration for Children and Families, which is itself a division of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), indicate that HHS plans to pay for child separation by reallocating money from the Ryan White HIV/AIDS ProgramNMAC has been in direct communication with the HIV/AIDS Bureau (HAB) at the Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA). There are four (4) important pieces to mention:

  1. The funds that are allegedly being transferred are from Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 funds that were returned to HHS after not being spent by eligible Ryan White grantees.
  2. HAB staff was unable to state exactly how much FY 2016 funding was being transferred.
  3. However, it was very clear that those funds do not have any impact on the operation or schedule of Ryan White funding for FY 2018 or can the be used by any current parts of the Ryan White Program.
  4. The HHS Secretary has limited authority (generally referred to as “transfer authority”) to shift funding between accounts and programs when specified by law. That authority is limited to discretionary accounts and no appropriation may decrease its budget by more than one percent.

 

Appropriations Update
After a marathon 13-hour markup that touched on a range of contentious issues including the Affordable Care Act, abortion, and the Trump administration’s separation of migrant families at the border, members of the House Appropriations Committee voted along party lines (30-22 vote) to approve a $177.1 billion Labor-HHS-Education spending bill for fiscal year 2019. The panel ultimately adopted 18 amendments, with 14 coming from Democrats and another four offered by Republicans. The vote keeps the legislation on track for full House floor consideration, though several of its most controversial provisions would be unlikely to survive once action shifts to the Senate, where the 60-vote threshold requires support from some Democrats. For more information, READ → https://www.fiercehealthcare.com/hospitals-health-systems/house-lawmakers-take-aim-at-family-separations-during-hhs-appropriations

 

CMS Expected to Propose Cuts to More 340B Providers
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is expected to expand the number of 340B health facilities that will be impacted by payment cuts for all physician-administered drugs. The proposed rule would slash Medicare Part B drug payments to 340B hospital outpatient facilities offsite by nearly 30 percent. The change is expected in the proposed 2019 Physician Fee Schedule Rule, which could be released as early as Thursday of next week. It would impact hospitals that qualify for the 340B program’s steep drug discounts because they serve a disproportionate share of low-income and under-insured patients. The Trump administration has cited the 2018 change in payment to 340B facilities as a move to lower drug costs. It estimated Medicare beneficiaries would save about $320 million on drug co-payments in 2018 because patients’ out-of-pocket costs are tied to what Medicare is billed for the drugs. The administration maintained that the lower reimbursement rate is closer to what hospitals pay for the drugs. Hospitals in the program say 340B was specifically intended to pay more because of the challenges of the populations they serve. For more information, READ → https://www.politico.com/newsletters/politico-pulse/2018/07/12/cms-expected-to-propose-cuts-to-more-340b-providers-276689


What You Can Do
TAKE ACTION: It is very important that our elected officials hear from us to protect federal HIV funding for HIV prevention and care.  Speak truth to power by sharing your personal stories with your elected officials. It is vitally important to meet to your federal elected officials when they are at home. If we don’t support and advocate for HIV funding and programs, who will?  Our movement cannot afford to stand on the sidelines.  Your U.S. Senators and U.S. Representatives need to hear from you. 

Also, MAKE SURE THAT YOU ARE REGISTERED TO VOTE in time for the primary and general elections happening this year!

Minnesota 7/24/2018
Wisconsin 7/25/2018

For more information, VISIT→ https://www.eac.gov/voters/register-and-vote-in-your-state/

Finally, PARTICIPATE IN THE PRIMARY ELECTION(S) in your state!!!

For more information, VISIT→ http://www.ncsl.org/research/elections-and-campaigns/2018-state-primary-election-dates.aspx

 

Opportunities for Input: Let Your Voice be Heard

Leading up to the US Conference on AIDS (USCA) in September, Act Now: End AIDS will solicit community input to inform the creation of an federal plan to end the epidemic. It’s important that we hear from affected communities from around the country in four primary ways:

  1. An online recommendation form at https://survey.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_eWde8Hsj4p0L4UJ . SUBMISSIONS DUE BY AUGUST 10TH.
  2. Online webinars covering key recommendation topics ( prevention and testing, care and treatment, structural interventions, research, viral hepatitis, sexually transmitted infections, opioids and the overdose epidemic, data and metrics.
  3. Web-based meetings and conference calls led by and soliciting input from specific affected communities
  4. An in person pre-USCA meeting to discuss an early draft of the plan to be held on September 5th in Orlando, FL

We invite you to use any and all of these options to provide recommendations for the plan. The online form may be used for as many recommendations as you want to submit. While individuals are absolutely invited to submit online recommendation forms, we also encourage submissions from groups.


What NMAC is Doing About It

  • NMAC remains vigilant in its advocacy to protect FY19 government funding and the existence of the social safety net.
  • NMAC releaseda Biomedical HIV Prevention “Blueprint” entitled Expanding Access to Biomedical HIV Prevention: Tailoring Approaches for Effectively Serving Communities of Color, a new report that establishes strategies to effectively use techniques such as Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) and Treatment as Prevention (TasP) to end the HIV epidemic in communities of color. The full report can be found by visiting nmac.org/blueprint.
  • NMAC will continue to meet with the administration around priority areas of people of color, pushing for greater access to coverage and making them aware of the challenges affecting people of color
  • NMAC is coordinating three of the ending the epidemic stakeholder calls for older adults, Native Americans, and Asian Pacific islanders.

INPUT REQUESTED: A National Community-Led Plan to End HIV/AIDS as an Epidemic

Since 2014, several U.S. cities, counties, and states have announced Ending the Epidemic (EtE) plans. What makes these initiatives unique– in addition to their ambition– is that they are driven by community leaders, including people living with HIV. In the spirit of the Denver Principles, these plans should be by and for those communities directly impacted by the epidemic.

Recently, the Trump administration has announced that it will be drafting its own national EtE plan by mid 2019. This obviously raises many concerns. First and foremost, can the drafting of such a plan possibly truly be led by the communities disproportionately impacted by the epidemic, when these very communities are facing direct attacks by the current administration?

In order to preserve the community-led spirit of EtE work, Act Now End AIDS (ANEA) – a national coalition of EtE leaders – intends to draft a community-led national plan. We will engage in a broad, multi-tiered process to collect as much information from impacted communities around the country as possible in order to accurately reflect what we need to end the HIV epidemic for all of us.

But for this process to work, WE WILL NEED YOUR HELP!

Below you will find more detailed instructions on how you, your organization, or your coalition can submit recommendations to be part of the national plan. Here are four main ways to provide input:

  1. An online recommendation form https://survey.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_eWde8Hsj4p0L4UJ. SUBMISSIONS DUE BY AUGUST 10TH.
  2. Online webinars covering key recommendation topics (prevention and testing, care and treatment, structural interventions, research, viral hepatitis, sexually transmitted infections, opioids and the overdose epidemic, data and metrics)
  3. Web-based discussions and conference calls led by and soliciting input from specific affected communities
  4. An in person pre-USCA meeting to discuss an early draft of the plan to be held on September 5th in Orlando, FL

***If conference calls or web-based opportunities to provide input do not work for you or if you do not have access to these methods of providing input, please contact Alex Smith, Senior Policy Manager for AIDS United, by email at (asmith@aidsunited.org) by phone at (202) 876-2840 to make arrangements for providing input.

We invite you to use any and all of these options to provide recommendations for the plan. The online form may be used for as many recommendations as you want to submit. While individuals are absolutely invited to submit online recommendation forms, we also encourage submissions from groups.

Web-based discussions and conference calls will be announced over the month of July. We invite you to sign up for the ANEA  listserv at https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/act-now-end-aids-distribution/join in order to keep up to date. We will also be providing more information on the in person gathering in Orlando.

We look forward to hearing from communities impacted by HIV from all around the country over the next few months as we engage in this ambitious national planning process. If you have any questions or concerns at all, please asmith@aidsunited.org. Together, we can ensure that community leads the way toward the end of the HIV epidemic.