NMAC Celebrates LGBT History Month

NMAC Celebrates LGBT History Month

I’ve always been a history buff – so much of one that I got my degree in it. So, one of the first things I did when I came out was to learn more about LGBTQ history. And, now, 25 years later, I’m still learning about people, places, and events that are a critical part […]

HIV and STD Organizations Denounce Trump Administration’s Actions to Degrade the Affordable Care Act

HIV and STD Organizations Denounce Trump Administration’s Actions to Degrade the Affordable Care Act

Following repeated legislative defeats to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), President Trump is taking steps to further sabotage the ACA.  This includes ending cost sharing reduction (CSR) payments to issuers and issuing an executive order that would destabilize the health care marketplace and erode patient protections.

Both actions would have devastating effects on people living with or at risk of HIV and STDs.  Ending the $7 billion in CSR payments would serve to increase premiums and force the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program to bear a greater share of insurance costs.  It would drive insurance companies out of the state health care marketplaces and in turn, put the marketplaces out of business.

In addition to this action, President Trump signed an executive order that directs federal agencies to expand association health plans and short-term limited insurance.  Such plans would not have to meet “essential health benefits,” virtually ensuring they will be useless for people with pre-existing conditions, including people living with HIV and STDs.  The executive order creates the opportunity for younger and healthier people to exit the more regulated marketplaces and destabilize the entire insurance market

We urge the courts to end the illegal action to halt payment of the CSRs. We also call on Congress to quickly approve bipartisan legislation to stabilize the marketplace and extend CSR payments. People living with HIV and other STDs, particularly people of color, often face multiple barriers to accessing the care and treatment they need to stay healthy. The President’s actions would only strengthen these barriers, making it even more difficult for these communities most impacted by HIV to receive the care they need.

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

Pray for Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands

Pray for Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands  

Dear Friends and Supporters:
Unprecedented storms have devastated significant portions of Texas, Louisiana, and Florida, leaving many residents with little or no access to shelter, clean water, and life-sustaining medications and care. This is especially true for our brothers and sisters living with HIV. For them, every moment is a battle for survival. They are in crisis.Now, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands need help too. Hurricane Maria has demolished homes and facilities across Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, leaving much of the islands without power or water. The destruction in these states and U.S. territories demands a rapid response from our community. In the wake of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, the HIV Hurricane Relief Effort was established to rapidly provide grants to support organizations serving the needs of people living with and affected by HIV in Florida, Louisiana, and Texas.Today, we are expanding the scope of our efforts to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. So, we are calling on all our friends and supporters – individuals and organizations – to contribute to the HIV Hurricane Relief Effort here.

AIDS United established the HIV Hurricane Relief Effort as part of the rapid response arm of the new Southern HIV Impact Fund, a collaborative effort coordinated by Funders Concerned About AIDS with generous support from Gilead Sciences, Ford Foundation, Elton John AIDS Foundation, and ViiV HealthcareJohnson & Johnson has just made a major contribution as well. Gilead Sciences has also made an additional $1 million available to the Fund to support immediate assistance to areas affected by the storms. NMAC is partnering with AIDS United by appointing an HIV Hurricane Relief Advisory Panel made up of constituents from the affected regions to identify priority emergency needs for the HIV communities in each area.

Our people and HIV service organizations are in desperate need. Since the announcement of the hurricane relief effort at the U.S. Conference on AIDS, applications have been received from HIV organizations in Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico describing the need for millions and millions of dollars to address their emergencies. Applications are being reviewed weekly and funds are being dispersed quickly. Grants have covered everything from housing to food as well as medications and medical care.

The demand for help will soon outstrip current available funds. We don’t need to tell you that this assistance will be the difference between life and death for thousands of people living with HIV in the affected areas. There is no time to lose. Organizations, businesses, and individuals can make donations to the HIV Hurricane Relief Effort here.Questions about the fund should be sent to Melanie Powers, Program Manager at AIDS United, at mpowers@aidsunited.org. The communities affected by this year’s hurricanes are part of the epicenter of the U.S. epidemic of HIV. In 2014, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 100,000 people with HIV lived in Florida, more than 77,000 in Texas, nearly 19,000 in Louisiana, and more than 17,000 in Puerto Rico.

We must do all we can to help. Now!
Jesse Milan, Jr.       Murray C. Penner        David C. Harvey         Paul Kawata           Michael Ruppal
President, CEO       Executive Director       Executive Director      Executive Director  Executive Director
AIDS United            NASTAD                      National Coalition of   NMAC                     The AIDS Institute
STD Directors

NMAC Announces the Building Leaders of Color (BLOC) 2017-2018 Program

            
NMAC is looking for people of color living with HIV who are dedicated to leading on HIV issues in their communities to participate in its BLOC program. These leaders must be willing to serve as representatives in their local communities by actively engaging in decision-making processes to ensure services for people of color living with HIV are created and protected.

The 2017-2018 BLOC program will select 90 leaders of color living with HIV who are ages 18 and older. The BLOC program is designed to identify new, emerging, and seasoned leaders of color living with HIV with the goal of cultivating, supporting, and training them to be full, active, and engaged participants on planning bodies, medical and support care teams, boards of directors, and other entities meant to address the goals of the National HIV/AIDS Goals. In the new year, the BLOC Program will host the following comprehensive trainings:

  • One (1) national training for transgender women of color living with HIV.
  • Three (3) regional trainings for people of color living with HIV.
  • NEW!!!BLOC Youth.  One (1) – youth focused leadership program where we will recruit and train young up-and-coming leaders of color living with HIV. This program is designed for those between the ages of 18-24.
  • One (1) Train the Trainer (TOT) Session for selected program graduates and Ryan White Part A & B grantees (applications coming soon)

 Applications for the BLOC program are now being accepted through October 15, 2017. To be considered for the program we encourage you to apply now via the below link.

To learn more about the program, NMAC is offering BLOC Application Introduction Webinars. These webinars are meant to inform you about BLOC programming and expectations. To receive more information about these register at the following link:

October 2, 2017 & October 5, 2017 at 3:00 PM EST

Partner Organizations

   

     

 

What’s in it for You?

Selected participants will:
  • Learn skills and information important to the wellness, leadership, and personal/professional development of people of color living with HIV.
  • Engage in innovative leadership development sessions focusing on national public health trends, policies, and directives focused on impacting the domestic response to HIV.
  • Become part of a growing national community of people living with HIV (PLHIV) dedicated to creating better systems and institutions for PLHIV.
  • Have access to leading national PLHIV coalitions, nonprofit leaders, as well as federal agencies working on behalf of people living with HIV.
  • Receive coaching and mentoring from seasoned PLHIV leaders and gain several other skills and opportunities to support leadership goals.

For additional information and resources for the BLOC Program please visit www.blochiv.org.

Yours in the Struggle,

Linda H. Scruggs MHS, Consultant
Acting Director,  Leadership Pipeline

This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under contract number U69HA304700100. This information or content and conclusions are those of the authors and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.

NMAC Recognizes National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day 

NMAC Recognizes National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day
                 

NMAC joins in the observance of the annual National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day (NHAAD) today September 18, 2017. Every year, the NHAAD focuses on the challenging issues facing the aging population with regards to HIV prevention, testing, care and treatment.

Based on statistics from the CDC people aged 50 and older accounted for about one half (45%) of the estimated 1.2 million people living with HIV infection in the United States. Among persons aged 50 to 54, the estimated rate (per 100,000) of HIV diagnoses by race/ethnicity was 59.3% among African Americans/blacks, 23.3% among Hispanics/Latinos, and 8.7% among whites. Of the 6,721 deaths related to HIV in 2014, 2,588 (39%) were among people aged 55 and older. The statistics demonstrate that there is a need, now more than ever, to reach out to the 50+ HIV positive men and women of color in the United States.

Those PLWHIV that are 50 years or olderface increased isolation and of those aging people of color, not only face this isolation but increased stigma, lack of access to care, poverty, and racism. Furthermore, when people living with HIV have achieved viral suppression and HIV is well-controlled, there is a need to be educated about other aging-related conditions. People that age with HIV face comorbidities for which they are in greater risk such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders, osteoporosis, and certain cancers. They also need to be aware of interactions between medications used to treat HIV and those used to treat age-related conditions. That’s why NMAC created the HIV 50+ Strong & Healthy program. HIV 50+ Strong and Healthy seeks to mobilize, engage, and educate people living with HIV who are over the age of 50 on the impact of HIV has on aging people of color.

  

At the 2017 United States Conference on AIDS (USCA), NMAC had the honor to sponsor 50 extraordinary community advocates that were HIV+ and over 50 years old. Their presence raised awareness about the impact HIV has on the aging population that today currently makes up nearly half of all those living with HIV and in 2020 could represent more than 70% of new HIV diagnoses. For the sponsored advocates, USCA was a coming home experience to network with the community they thought once abandoned them. NMAC is committed to mobilizing the HIV 50+ community, engaging them in building community, and becoming peer educators and advocates. Their resiliency and wisdom is necessary to end the HIV epidemic.  Please read below to see what one of our scholars, Roy Ferguson, shared on Facebook about his experience in the 50+ Strong and Healthy program.

Roy Ferguson / NMAC’s HIV 50+ Strong & Healthy Scholar Brookfield, IL
Am home now and winding down from the US Conference on Aids. Was an amazing 6 days. On Wednesday did legislative visits to Sen Dick Durbin’s office, meet with Tammy Duckworth’s Legislative Assistant, Luis Gutierrez’s Legislative Assistant and a personal meeting with Jan Schakowsky (ok may have misspelled her name). Three and a half days of workshops on HIV and Aging.
On Sunday I got a new t-shirt that I proudly wore all day at Washington DC sights and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. This image is from being at the memorial. The shirt really sums up who I am today.”

Moisés Agosto-Rosario

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

                                           

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

Contacts:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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876.2820

It Broke My Heart

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yours in the struggle,

Paul Kawata

Our Movement Needs You – What YOU Can Do Today!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yours in the Struggle,

Sable K. Nelson, Esq
Policy Analyst
NMAC

USCA Registration Deadline – This Friday!

USCA Registration Deadline – This Friday!

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

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

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

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

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

Yours in the struggle,


Tara Barnes-Darby, CMP
Conferences, Director

Official 2017 USCA Conference Mobile App Launched Today!

Download the USCA Conference App Today!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


USCA 

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

Yours in the struggle,

Tara Barnes-Darby, CMP
Conferences, Director