Important Happenings in HIV/Health Policy

Important Happenings in 

HIV/Health Policy

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

 

Senate Hearing FY19 HHS Funding Postponed
Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar was scheduled to testify on HHS’s FY19 budget request at a Senate Labor-HHS Appropriations hearing on Thursday, April 26. However, due to Secretary Azar’s recent hospitalization related to continued complications with a digestive infection, the Senate Labor-HHS Appropriations hearing will be postponed. It is still unclear when Azar will return to Washington. For more information,

READ → https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/policy/healthcare/hhs-secretary-alex-azar-heads-back-to-hospital

HHS Drug Strategy Under Review

On April 17, The Office of Management and Budget began its review of a strategy developed by HHS to lower prescription drug prices and reduce out-of-pocket costs for consumers. On April 26, President Trump plans to announce the steps his Administration will take to fight high drugs costs. According to the Trump Administration’s 2019 Budget Fact Sheet on lowering the price of drugs, pricing policies include changes to Medicare, Medicaid, the 340B drug pricing program that allows safety-net hospitals to get drug discounts, and speeding the development of more affordable generic medications.
For more information,
READ → https://khn.org/morning-breakout/trump-to-give-speech-on-drug-prices-but-no-new-policies-are-expected-to-be-unveiled/

Kaiser Health Network (KHN) ‘What The Health?’ Podcast:
Nothing In Health Care Ever Goes Away
“In this episode of KHN’s ‘What the Health?’ Sarah Jane Tribble of Kaiser Health News, Joanne Kenen of Politico, Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times, and Paige Winfield Cunningham of The Washington Post examine how even after Republicans failed to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, the health care debate continues to roil politics. They discuss how Republicans in Congress have shifted their ACA messaging and how the Democrats are looking to Medicare expansion. They also discuss state efforts to expand Medicaid and drug pricing. And they spend a moment talking about Congress’ push to do something about the opioid crisis.”

For more information, READ →  https://khn.org/news/podcast-khns-what-the-health-nothing-in-health-care-ever-goes-away/?utm_campaign=KHN%20-%20Weekly%20Edition&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=62270566&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-_LRHkm4pjBS364Kv9GoI5eX2OuBR4QwrHz0aNCNHpnW0zXKKP_WC5O445IKULhM_fCq4i5fQNYorkM-pEFDUukBPAxow&_hsmi=62270566

 

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 will continue to meet with congressional staff about the importance of HIV funding.
  • NMAC will continue to discuss how to implement the recommendations from our Biomedical Blueprint.
  • NMAC is planning a face-to-face meeting with the CDC Director and a site visit with colleagues with the Federal AIDS Policy Partnership (FAPP) in May 2018.

 

What You Can Do

FOLLOW CARDI B’S LEAD: In a recent interview with GQ Magazine, Cardi B remarked “I love government. I’m obsessed with presidents. I’m obsessed to know how the system works.” Cardi B went on to say that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt tried to “make America great again for real” by helping old people to receive social security. Even Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) cosigned this component of Cardi B’s interview via Twitter:

Components of the social safety net: the Ryan White Program, Food Assistance, Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security are facing possible program changes and funding cuts in FY19. As various proposals are being discussed, we each have the responsibility to educate ourselves about the issues, systems, and decision-makers that impact our daily lives.

 

TAKE ACTION: 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 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:

Nebraska

4/30/2018
Mississippi 5/7/2018
Montana 5/7/2018
New Mexico 5/8/2018
South Carolina 5/14/2018
New Jersey 5/15/2018
Nevada 5/15/2018
Alabama 5/21/2018
South Dakota 5/21/2018
California 5/21/2018
Virginia 5/21/2018
Maine 5/22/2018
Iowa 5/25/2018
Utah 5/27/2018
District of Columbia 5/29/2018

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:

Indiana 5/8/2018
Ohio 5/8/2018
North Carolina 5/8/2018
West Virginia 5/8/2018
Pennsylvania 5/15/2018
Idaho 5/15/2018
Oregon 5/15/2018
Nebraska 5/15/2018
Arkansas 5/22/2018
Georgia 5/22/2018
Kentucky 5/22/2018

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

NMAC Connection Special: An Open Letter to CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield

An Open Letter to Dr. Robert Redfield
Director, Centers for Disease Control

Dear Dr. Redfield,
Congratulations on your appointment as the new Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It was especially heartening that, at your first meeting with CDC staff, you said it’s possible to end the HIV epidemic in America. Your ambitious goal of ending it within the next three to seven years was music to our ears. You are the first CDC director to have this vision and NMAC wants to work with you to make it a reality.

We have a mutual belief that biomedical HIV prevention is key to bending the curve of new HIV infections. Attached is the latest Blueprint from NMAC that shares policy recommendations on ways to expand access to PrEP and U=U/Treatment as Prevention. This document highlights the unique challenges people of color face in HIV prevention, care, and treatment. It gives ways to improve outreach to gay men of color, women of color, and the transgender community.

NMAC would like to formally invite you to attend this year’s National Biomedical HIV Prevention Summit on December 3-4, 2018. The meeting will be an opportunity to dialogue directly with community, share your vision for ending the epidemic, and discuss CDC’s plans to fully implement biomedical HIV prevention.

Ending AIDS must be more than a slogan; it takes planning, collaboration, and funding to make it real. Over the past five years, significant achievements have been made. Despite these successes, our gains have not been realized equally.  Your vision to end the HIV epidemic within our lifetime can only happen when we work together. We may not agree on everything, but NMAC can definitely support, collaborate, and work to end the epidemic with CDC.

Yours in the struggle,


Paul Kawata
Executive Director

NMAC Connection: Scholarship Applications Open

More Federal Funds for Opioid-Related Infections is Good – But More is NeededFive of the nation’s leading organizations focused on ending the HIV, STD, and hepatitis epidemics in the United States – AIDS United, NASTAD, the National Coalition of STD Directors, NMAC, and The AIDS Institute – applaud Congress and the Administration for restoring critical funding for HIV and STDs and bolstering hepatitis programs. The Fiscal Year 2018 Omnibus Appropriations represents a down payment on shoring up the nation’s public health infrastructure, but it also falls short on necessary resources to combat the nation’s opioid crisis and associated infectious diseases.

Read the full statement.

 

April 10 is National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day
From time to time, we will feature voices from NMAC program participants to talk about their communities and their work. This week, in honor of National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day, we’re featuring Joe Gray, a participant in our Youth Initiative.

This is such an overwhelming feeling and such an honor to get to serve my Tribe, the HIV Community. I am a young man from very humble beginnings and this is my truth. I have gone from a hopeless Addict to an HIV Activist. April 10, 2015, National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day, is the day I got clean and moved into a 90 day homeless shelter for persons living with HIV here in Sacramento. I have done a lot of work on self over the years to be where I am and I strive daily to be the person I needed when I was that young kinder-queer and newly diagnosed person living with HIV.
Read the rest of Joe’s story.

Still Time to Apply for NMAC’s Youth Initiative

There’s still time to apply for the eighth cycle of NMAC’s Youth Initiative program to train future leaders in the fight against the HIV epidemic. The seven-month program is open to applicants ages 18-25. Youth living with HIV or on PrEP, LGBTQ, youth of color, and young cis & trans women are particularly encouraged to apply. For more information or to apply, visit the NMAC website.

 

Applications are due by April 10.

NMAC’s Next Community Spotlight Webinar April 24

Join us for our next Community Spotlight webinar on April 24 at 3:00 PM EST. This month’s focus will be on Youth and HIV and will feature voices from NMAC’s Youth Initiative program, which trains future leaders in the fight against the HIV epidemic.

Register now!

We’re Hiring!

NMAC is hiring! If you’d like to come work with us, please check out our latest job opportunities.

Despite Gains in HIV, STD, and Hepatitis Funding, Omnibus Bill Falls Short on Opioid Funding for Infectious Diseases

Despite Gains in HIV, STD, and Hepatitis Funding, Omnibus
Bill Falls Short on Opioid Funding for Infectious Diseases

Washington, D.C. – Five of the nation’s leading organizations focused on ending the HIV, STD, and hepatitis epidemics in the United States – AIDS United, NASTAD, the National Coalition of STD Directors, NMAC, and The AIDS Institute – applaud Congress and the Administration for restoring critical funding for HIV and STDs and bolstering hepatitis programs. The Fiscal Year 2018 Omnibus Appropriations represents a down payment on shoring up the nation’s public health infrastructure, but it also falls short on necessary resources to combat the nation’s opioid crisis and associated infectious diseases.

With STD cases at the highest level ever recorded, Congress restored important funding for STD prevention, reversing a cut of $5 million that was passed last year. Congress also rejected proposed cuts to domestic HIV programs, including to the Secretary’s Minority AIDS Initiative, a crucial source of funding for HIV prevention, care, and treatment for communities of color, as well as the Ryan White Program and CDC HIV Prevention Programming. What’s more, Congress increased funding for the Housing Opportunities for People Living with AIDS (HOPWA) Program. We commend this action, but we also know more must be done to reduce the impact of HIV and STDs on our nation.

Congress also increased CDC hepatitis funding by $5 million, to $39 million, but it is far from the $100 million we believe is needed to institute prevention and education programs, increase testing and linkage to care and treatment, and implement surveillance systems to ensure jurisdictions across the country are adequately equipped to tackle the rapid increases in hepatitis and HIV due to injection drug use.

Moreover, our nation’s opioid epidemic remains virulent. The recent rise in injection-drug use not only accounts for a significant increase in overdoses, but also increases in hepatitis C, HIV, and STDs, particularly among young adults. The number of new hepatitis C cases nationwide nearly tripled between 2010 and 2015, and hepatitis C now kills more Americans than all other 60 notifiable infectious diseases combined. And STD rates show no signs of decline.

We commend Congress and the Administration for restoring crucial HIV and STD funding, and for expanding investment in viral hepatitis prevention — however minimal. Drug treatment and infectious disease prevention efforts can significantly reduce opioid addiction, overdose deaths, and new blood-borne infections. But sustaining the headway made in the struggle against hepatitis C, HIV, and STDs will require more than the bare minimum if we do not want to risk years of progress being undone.

###

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

NMAC Connection: Important Deadlines for You to Know!

USCA Abstract Submission Deadline is One Week Away!
Want to present at USCA? The deadline for submission of abstracts is now just eight days away on April 6!Whether you’re interested in convening a workshop or presenting a poster, your abstract must be submitted no later than 5:00 PM ESTon Friday, April 6.

Visit the USCA website for full information on the submission process, including a recording of our abstract submission webinar. We can’t wait to see what you send us. While we’re talking about USCA, are you interested in applying for a scholarship to attend? Join us for a webinar on April 11 to explain the process, including application deadlines, scholar responsibilities, and important dates.
Whether you’re interested in an Option A or B scholarship, an HIV 50+ Strong & Health scholarship, or a Social Media Fellowship, this webinar is for you. Register now.

 

Still Time to Apply for NMAC’s Youth Initiative 
There’s still time to apply for the eighth cycle of NMAC’s Youth Initiative program to train future leaders in the fight against the HIV epidemic. The seven-month program is open to applicants ages 18-25. Youth living with HIV or on PrEP, LGBTQ, youth of color, and young cis & trans women are particularly encouraged to apply. For more information or to apply, visit the NMAC website.
Applications are due by April 10.

 

Webinar on Multimorbidity and HIV+ Older Adults
Join us for “Why Are Older Adults with HIV at Increased Risk for Multimorbidity?,” a webinar from our Treatment division, on Friday, April 6, at 3:00 PM with national expert on HIV and aging, Dr. Stephen Karpiak. Register now.

 

2017 Biomedical HIV Prevention Summit Survey Deadline
Did you attend the 2017 Biomedical HIV Prevention Summit? Then we want to hear from you! If you haven’t already, please take a few minutes to fill out our survey on the Summit. We want to hear your feedback to make the 2018 Summit better. The deadline for the survey is April 10.

NMAC Connection: The Latest News From NMAC

Learn About the USCA Scholarship Process in April 11 Webinar

Interested in a scholarship to attend the US Conference on AIDS this year? Join us for a webinar on April 11 to explain the process, including application deadlines, scholar responsibilities, and important dates. Whether you’re interested in an Option A or B scholarship, an HIV 50+ Strong & Health scholarship, or a Social Media Fellowship, this webinar is for you.
Register now
!

Welcome Marissa Miller to the NMAC Family
NMAC is thrilled to welcome Marissa Miller to our family. As a
Program Coordinator, Marissa works in our Leadership Pipeline program, helping to train new leaders in the fight against HIV.  A native of Indiana, Marissa has been an active voice for the transgender community for years in Indiana and Chicago, where she worked at Howard Brown Health.
Marissa shared some of her thoughts about her work here at NMAC.

Join Us for a Webinar on Multimorbidity and HIV+ Older Adults
Join us for “Why Are Older Adults with HIV at Increased Risk for Multimorbidity?,” a webinar from our Treatment division, on Friday, April 6, at 3:00 PM with national expert on HIV and aging, Dr. Stephen Karpiak. As people living with HIV live longer, healthcare providers are spending less time managing HIV-related issues and more time managing age-associated illnesses. This webinar will explore this topic.
Register now!

We’re Hiring!
NMAC is hiring! If you’d like to come work with us, please check out our latest job opportunities.

NMAC Connection: Invitation to CAPS

Would you consider applying to be part of NMAC’s Community Advisory Panels? This is a way too long recruitment letter to talk about our grand experiment. Applications are due March 23.. This newsletter explains NMAC’s vision and strategy to end the HIV epidemic.

NMAC leads with race to end the HIV epidemic in America.

We do it by urgently fighting for health equity and racial justice via our continued commitment to build leaders of color, our focused role within the HIV community on race, and its impact on HIV care and prevention, and by our survival when so many other agencies have closed their doors. In 1987 we started with a commitment to building leaders of color with the skills, connections, and savvy to fight. Today, NMAC continues to build leaders and ask them to focus on race and its impacts on HIV care, treatment, and prevention. NMAC does not do anti-racism work. There are many organizations with more experience and qualifications. To be effective, anti-racism work has to focus on white people. NMAC builds the skills and tells the stories of people of color.

          

In 2014-15, NMAC’s updated strategic plan changed our name, mission, and vision. During this time, America also saw the rise of the Occupy Wall Street, Black Lives Matter, and MeToo movements. Like these causes, NMAC fights for a world that is fair and equitable; however, our fight is focused/limited to ending the HIV epidemic in America. We are not here to end racism. We are here to examine how race impacts HIV care, treatment, and prevention. The majority of Americans living with HIV are people of color, yet 74 percent of the people on PrEP are white. This inequity is why NMAC fights for comprehensive biomedical HIV prevention for all communities highly impacted by HIV.

There are many ways to lead with race. NMAC believes that building the skills of leaders of color, standing up within the HIV movement, and surviving the difficult years is how NMAC leads with race. Will you join our grand experiment?  Online applications are due March 23 to be on NMAC’s new Community Advisory Panels (CAP).

This is a real program that needs real commitments. Your input will influence the workshops, plenaries, and scholarship decisions for both USCA and the Summit.

I’m going to stop before I lose you. An extended version of the letter can be found here.  Thank you for your consideration.

Yours in the struggle,

Paul Kawata
(202)  277-2777
Executive Director

NMAC Connection: NMAC Honors National Native American HIV Awareness Day

National Native HIV Awareness Day is March 20
From time to time, we will feature voices from outside NMAC to talk about their communities and their work. This week, in honor of National Native HIV Awareness Day, we’re proud to spotlight Shana Christensen, a member of the Kiowa tribe in Oklahoma and a long-term HIV survivor and advocate.

There is a saying in Lakota that I really love: “Mitákuye Oyás’iŋ.” It means “All my Relations.” I’m not Lakota. We don’t have that saying in Kiowa, which is the tribe I hail from. Nevertheless, It’s always struck a chord with me. When I think about all the other Natives who are living with HIV, they feel like my family, even if I haven’t met them yet. Native Americans represent some two percent of the US population, yet in many areas of the country, our HIV rates as a race are super high, above whites and in some places, second highest.

> Read more from Shana                                                                                                                       Photo by Jeremy Charles

Want to Submit an Abstract for USCA? Join our         Re-Scheduled Webinar March 20
As some of you know, we had some technical difficulties with our March 7 webinar on submitting an abstract for USCA. We’ve worked to iron those problems out and have re-scheduled the webinar for Tuesday, March 20, at 3:00 PM EST. Join us and find out more about this process. And, once again, our apologies for the difficulties to all of those who joined us on March 7.
 > Register now!

Join Us for “Women and HIV in the South” Webinar March 21
Register now for the latest webinar in our Community Spotlight Series on March 21 at 3:00 PM EST. Gina Brown, Community Organizer for the Southern AIDS Coalition, will join us to talk about Women and HIV in the South.
Register now!

One Week Left to Join NMAC’s Constituent Advisory Panels
Next Friday, March 23, is the deadline to apply to join NMAC’s Constituent Advisory Panels (CAPs). CAPs will advise NMAC on workshops, institutes, plenaries, and scholarship decisions for the 2018 USCA and Summit.
For more information and to apply for CAP membership, visit our website.

Continuing to Celebrate Women’s History Month

National Women & Girls HIV Awareness Day is March 10

By Sable Nelson, NMAC Policy Analyst. I am my sister’s keeper. This upcoming Saturday, March 10, marks the 13th year for National Women and Girls HIV Awareness Day (NWGHAAD), when “national and community organizations come together to show support for women and girls impacted by HIV and AIDS.” The lives and stories of women reflected in recent statistics underscores the continued need for the observance of NWGHAAD.

> Read more about NWGHAAD

 

“Women and HIV in the South” Webinar March 21

 NMAC’s Community Spotlight Series continues March 21 at 3:00 PM EST with a webinar on Women and HIV in the South, featuring Gina Brown, Community Organizer for the Southern AIDS Coalition.

 > Register now!

 

 

Time’s Running Out to Join NMAC’s Constituent Advisory Panels

There are only 15 days left to apply to join NMAC’s Constituent Advisory Panels (CAPs). CAPs will advise NMAC on workshops, institutes, plenaries, and scholarship decisions for the 2018 USCA and Summit.

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

 

NMAC’s Youth Initiative Launches for 2018

NMAC has opened the eighth cycle of the Youth Initiative program to train future leaders in the fight against the HIV epidemic. The seven-month program is open to applicants ages 18-25. Youth living with HIV or on PrEP, LGBTQ, youth of color, and young cis & trans women are particularly encouraged to apply. For more information or to apply, visit the NMAC website. Applications are due by April 10.

>  Learn more about how you can apply

 

ON SSDI But Want to Work? Join Our March 9 Webinar!

On Social Security Disability? Want to work but worried about losing your healthcare or benefits? Join us for our webinar “A Message of Hope for Social Security Disability Beneficiaries” on Friday, March 9, 3:00 PM EST and learn from the National Disability Institute about incentives and supports that can get you back in action.

Celebrating Women’s History Month

March is Women’s History Month!
NMAC is focusing on all Women and HIV during Women’s History Month in March. The story of women in the HIV epidemic is often overlooked. We want to make sure that all women’s stories are told.
This month, we’ll feature women’s voices telling their stories of living with HIV, advocating for their communities, and living their best lives.

 

NMAC’s Leadership Institute Returns! 
NMAC is bringing back its Executive Director Leadership Institute on Wednesday, September5, the day prior to the start of USCA. This year’s meeting will focus on How to Survive During Difficult Political Times. The Institute is for Executive Directors and HIV and STD Health Department Directors. 

You MUST be registered for USCA to register for the Leadership Institute.
For more information and to register for the Institute, visit the USCA website.

 

Join 1st USCA Webinar: “How to Submit an Abstract” March 7th!
The deadline to submit an abstract for the US Conference on AIDS is April 6. That can be a confusing process, but NMAC is here to help!
Join us on Wednesday, March 7, for our first USCA 2018 webinar “How to Submit an Abstract. This free webinar will walk you through the entire submission process and give you a chance to ask any questions you may have.

 

Women’s History Month Community Spotlight Webinar March 21st
NMAC’s Community Spotlight Series continues March 21 at 3:00 PM EST with a webinar on Women and HIV, featuring Gina Brown, Community Organizer for the Southern AIDS Coalition. More details to come!

Register now!