Say No to Cuts to Essential HIV Services!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                            
May 25, 2017

Washington, DC – NMAC is dismayed to hear about the deep cuts proposed by the President’s FY18 budget around essential programs that have helped us gain ground in turning the tide of the HIV epidemic. Core programmatic efforts have helped us sustain advancements and break new ground in the battle against HIV. Particularly, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Secretary’s Minority AIDS Initiative Fund (SMAIF) has played a key role in advancing health and well-being for communities of color across this country. The President’s current budget recommends no funding for the SMAIF at this critical time in the fund’s existence.

The HHS SMAIF was established by Congress in 1999 as part of the Minority AIDS Initiative in response to the growing concern about the disproportionate impact of HIV and AIDS on racial and ethnic minorities in the United States. Each year, SMAIF provides more than $50 million to support a wide range of activities that are designed to reduce new HIV infections, improve HIV-related health outcomes, and reduce HIV-related health disparities in racial and ethnic minority communities.

“The Secretary’s Minority AIDS Initiative Fund is a true example of innovation with timely projects to find solutions that maximize the deployment of resources to facilitate strategic community investment,” stated Paul Kawata, Executive Director of NMAC. “These focused grants are used to fill gaps, target key challenges in the public health framework and find new approaches for reaching those were most vulnerable. Lessons learned extend to other the health arenas as well as benefiting those vulnerable to HIV or living with HIV through cost-effective programs.”

The SMAIF promotes novel programs that address critical emerging issues, and have established new collaborations across Federal agencies. These projects are significant in that they are designed to complement – and not duplicate – other HIV prevention and care activities and to create lasting changes in Federal programs that improve the quality, efficiency and impact of HIV programs that serve racial and ethnic minorities. Specifically, the SMAIF funds are used to:

  • Implement best practices to address long-standing and critical emerging issues to improve HIV prevention and care for the highest-risk racial and ethnic minorities
  • Expand the capacity of the HIV prevention and care workforce to address the needs of the highest-risk racial and ethnic minorities
  • Improve access to HIV prevention and care services for underserved racial and ethnic minorities who otherwise would have only very limited access to HIV services
  • Provide new avenues for agencies to work together and break down silos in HIV prevention and care programs for racial and ethnic minorities
  • Promote lasting changes across the Federal HIV prevention and care portfolio that improve HIV-related outcomes for racial and ethnic minorities

“It is important to remember that the President’s budget is just a recommendation to Congress. The final allocations of funds in entirely in the hands of Congress,” continued Kawata. “And it incumbent on us to make sure they understand the importance of our programs what they do to change lives and best use our resources to their best efforts.”

TAKE ACTION: HIV/STD Action Day is scheduled for September 6th, the day prior to the start of the United States Conference on AIDS.  The President’s budget has cut or eliminated many important programs, it’s going to be a fight and our movement cannot afford to stand on the sidelines.  If we don’t support and advocate for HIV funding and programs, who will?  Register today, its free! Congress is in session on September 6th so your U.S. Senators and U.S. Representatives can see you.

 

President Trump’s FY 2018 Budget Cuts Essential HIV/AIDS & STD Programs

President Trump’s FY 2018 Budget Cuts Essential HIV/AID & STD Programs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 24, 2017

Washington, DC – Yesterday, President Donald Trump released his administration’s detailed FY 2018 Budget. AIDS United, NASTAD, the National Coalition of STD Directors, NMAC and The AIDS Institute join together to oppose the draconian cuts proposed by the Administration including many programs that are essential for the treatment and prevention of HIV/AIDS and STDs.

“The country has made great progress in the fight against HIV/AIDS and STDs, but if these cuts are enacted, we will turn back the clock, resulting in more new infections, fewer patients receiving care, and ultimately, more suffering from diseases that are preventable and treatable.” said Michael Ruppal, Executive Director of The AIDS Institute.

The President’s budget proposes to cut CDC’s HIV prevention programs by $149 million or 19 percent, cut CDC’s STD prevention programs by $27 million or 17 percent since FY 2016, totally eliminate the Ryan White Program’s AIDS Education and Training Centers (AETC) and the Special Projects of National Significance (SPNS) programs, eliminate the HHS Secretary’s Minority AIDS Initiative Fund, reduce SAMHSA’s Minority AIDS Initiative programs, and cut the Housing Opportunities for People with AIDS (HOPWA) program at HUD by $26 million.

Jesse Milan, Jr., President & CEO of AIDS United stated, “We have seen historic decreases in the number of new HIV infections over the past six years because of sustained investments in prevention, and we have thousands of HIV positive Americans who have yet to achieve viral suppression through treatment programs. By cutting funding, the work we have done will be reversed, and all the work left to do will falter and put the health of our nation at risk.”

“President Trump’s proposal to reduce CDC’s STD prevention work comes at a moment of national crisis when we are seeing the highest STD rates in 20 years. If enacted, this will devastate our ability to prevent and treat STDs and it will undermine our ability to prevent HIV. We urge Congress to reject these extreme cuts and increase STD, HIV and public health funding,” said David C. Harvey, Executive Director of the National Coalition of STD Directors.

“I fear that these cuts signal the Administration’s lack of empathy for people living with or who are at risk for HIV,” said Paul Kawata, Executive Director of NMAC. “President Trump’s proposal to eliminate or dramatically cut many of these programs will increase the racial and socio-economic disparities we see in communities disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS. This budget will hurt the most vulnerable, and Congress must consider it a non-starter.”

Murray C. Penner, Executive Director of NASTAD concluded, “Together we will fight these cuts at every stage of the appropriations process. We need to protect these programs that provide life-saving treatment for those living with HIV and work to prevent the spread of HIV and STDs. We trust that Congress will agree and recognize that these cuts are harmful, short-sighted, and will damage our nation’s public health infrastructure.”

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.

####

PrEParing for the Future & EmPowering the Movement

By Matthew Rose · NMAC Policy and Advocacy Manager

In recent years our movement has seen tangible progress and scientific breakthroughs that are building real pathways that will help end the HIV epidemic. However, NMAC knows that more must be done to educate and engage all communities in order to eliminate systemic barriers and establish best practices for enrolling people of color onPrEP.

Data shows that in the United States people of color, particularly MSM of color, make-up the majority of people living with HIV and account for the majority of new HIV infections annually. Unfortunately, PrEP is not reaching these communities despite the fact that they need it the most. As a result, NMAC is taking steps to make sure that important tools in the HIV prevention toolkit are made more accessible.

Thanks to special funding from Gilead, NMAC has created PrEP Working Groups in five key southern cites to identify ways community organizations can maximize PrEP services for people of color.  Based upon data collected through assessments conducted by both community partners in local cities and NMAC’s own national survey of PrEP navigator programs, we have established blueprint plans that will outline best practices meant to ensure these programs better reach people of color.

NMAC’s intention in targeting these five southern cities is to engage local leaders who live in communities hardest hit by HIV. Because we believe that we cannot achieve success without engaging all members of the communities: we will engage Black and Latinx MSM college students and collaborate with local CBOs, university health & counseling centers, AIDS education & training Centers, health clinics, city health departments, and LGBTQ associations to identify barriers and determine best practices to reaching these communities.

At our 2017 Biomedical HIV Prevention Summit NMAC will sponsor a Learning Collaborative for leaders from cities with pre-established PrEP Working Groups and those members of our own PrEP Working Groups. This LC will allow navigators to share plans, exchange ideas, and learn about best practices that have worked in addressing the epidemic within their own communities. Based upon the data collected and feedback received from these working groups, NMAC will publish a blueprint guide specifically focused on Best Practices for Reaching People of Color to be launched at the 22nd USCA in 2018.

Yours in the Struggle,

 

 

 

 

Matthew Rose
Policy and Advocacy Manager

Crossing the Finish Line: The Hope For A HIV Vaccine

 

HIV Vaccine Research: A Marathon Not a Sprint

Today NMAC recognizes HIV Vaccine Awareness Day. While a HIV vaccine has not yet been discovered, we acknowledge the tremendous progress that has been made in HIV prevention research and look forward to ending the epidemic once and for all.
By Matthew Rose · NMAC Policy and Advocacy Manager

As I reflect on HIV vaccine research I am reminded about running a marathon. In the same ways marathon runners commit to the grueling training, the hard work, and the non-stop commitment towards a single goal, they know that the sweet reward of crossing the finish line will be worth all the struggles, aches, and pain.

The search for a vaccine for HIV has been a 30-year-long marathon. While we have maintained a sense of urgency in the fight against HIV, we have always known that this process would be a long-term endeavor. Vaccines are some of the most cost-effective prevention strategies. They were essential in eradicating diseases like smallpox, and in bringing other diseases like measles and polio under control. We know that HIV, like many other diseases that have taken decades for a vaccine to be developed, will not go away easily.

Yet while no fully licensed preventive HIV vaccine exists, tremendous progress has been made in the realm of HIV research. Scientists continue to push the envelope of creating a fully realized HIV vaccine, and because of many of their developments we have discovered pathways that have led to breakthroughs in creating vaccines for other infectious diseases such as Zika and Ebola.

By teaching the immune system to create responses that prevent HIV from establishing itself in the body, a HIV vaccine will be a prevention option that meets the needs of many communities most vulnerable to HIV; which, in the US, has disproportionately been people of color and women.

We are reaching a new mile marker in this race of a lifetime. For the first time in over a decade, two vaccine trials and another vaccine-related approach are either in  or simultaneously moving into efficacy trials. The first, a vaccine trial known as HVTN 702, kicked off in South Africa last October.  The other vaccine trial, will test a ‘mosaic’ candidate and starts in sub-Saharan Africa in the coming months. Finally, the antibody-mediated prevention study (the AMP study) is already underway in the Americas, Europe, and Africa. While these trials will only show results in the next several years, their prospects and the scientific findings are exciting. Most importantly, they represent a continued endurance on this long, hard road to discover what might be a large-scale game changer in the way we handle this enduring epidemic.

If the HIV epidemic has taught us anything, it is that we need multiple ways to fight the virus. People need options that fit into their lives and the way they live, so that HIV does not have to be a constant worry. Existing HIV prevention and treatment strategies are essential, yet there are many whose lives make it hard for them to use or access these methods; we owe it to them to establish a battery of additional options, including a vaccine. So we will continue until the finish line in the race that is the quest for an HIV vaccine. On the way we will continue to discover things that help fight for our better future: a world that gives all people hope… and options.

Yours in the Struggle,

 

 

 

 

Matthew Rose
Policy and Advocacy Manager


For more on HIV Vaccine Awareness Day, visit: http://www.avac.org/hvad, and follow the hashtag #HIVvaccineAware

100 Days: What Are We Fighting For?

100 Days: What Are We Fighting For?

It’s the first 100 days of the new administration: what are we fighting for?  NMAC’s bottom line is access to healthcare, medication, and wrap-around services for all people living with HIV.  Through many administrations, multiple pieces of legislation, and revised strategies, that has always been our guiding principle. NMAC uses access as the litmus test to deal with the myriad of challenges facing our communities.

100 Days into the new Trump Administration and we’ve had to reprogram ourconferences, capacity building, advocacy work, listservs, and messaging.  Revising the tone and tenor of our communications has required different messages for constituents vs. the administration.  As a movement that depends on government funding, we mustwork with Congress and the Trump Administration. However, as an organization that leads with race, it is in our DNA to speak out for justice.  We’ve had to learn to balance these competing needs.  Here are some of NMAC’s lessons from the first 100 Days:

  • Don’t Panic
  • Show Up & Fight
  • Hope

Don’t Panic
Don't PanicImmediately after inauguration, Presidential Executive Orders threw DC into a tailspin.  They made it difficult to figure out priorities and very easy to panic.  After 100 days, we’ve seen that DC is a very difficult place to change.  Many proposals were either tabled or stopped.  Democracy is messy and challenging, and that’s exactly what our founders wanted.  The initial panic has given way to a focused understanding that we have time.

In order to survive, NMAC has learned how to send out “dog whistles” to not put our movement’s funding in the crosshairs.  We don’t publicly comment on everything, but that does not mean we aren’t working on critical issues behind the scenes.  Part of our response has been to build new partnerships and to operate in different ways.  NMAC is part of a group of agencies that has hired a firm to represent us on Capitol Hill.  It’s not helpful to share what they do, but please know this group is present in more ways than we publicly discuss.

Show Up & Fight
From the Women’s March to the congressional town hall meetings on healthcare reform, we’ve come to understand how important it is to show up and speak truth to power.  We aren’t sitting on the sidelines hoping to be saved.  To end the HIV epidemic, our movement must show up and fight.

The new administration has changed the equation for activism.  That’s why this year’s HIV Action Day is so important. Join us September 6th in Washington, DC to make your voice heard.  We know that movements that turn out constituents are the movements that make a difference.  Your movement needs you!

Hope
The election threw me for a loop.  We are so close to ending the epidemic, yet could that happen without access to healthcare?  100 days into the new administration and I am hopeful that can still be our goal.  It’s going to be a struggle and we will not get everything we need, but we will also not lose everything.  There are reasons to hope.  The new administration has expressed its support of the Ryan White Care Act.  People are fighting back for healthcare.  Change is coming much slower, that gives us time to continue our work to end the epidemic.

Not only is this NMAC’s 30th anniversary, but I’ve also been its executive director for 27 years and 9 months (but who’s counting).  I was there when our movement looked death in the face and laughed.  We are stronger than any administration.  There is reason to hope.  Join us at USCA in September, come to the Summit in December. Your movement needs you and you need your movement.

Yours in the struggle,


Paul Kawata
202.277.2777

Job Opportunities: Community Partners

 NIH logo

Office of AIDS Research: Deputy Director

Posted 11/09/16 – Bethesda, MD. Open until filled

applybutton

Print

ERG: Program Manager I

Posted 11/01/16 – Oakland, CA. Open until filled

applybutton

Senior Staff Attorney

GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), New England’s LGBTQ and HIV public interest legal organization, seeks a full-time Senior Staff Attorney for its work in the six New England states. This attorney will be involved in handling matters in the full range of GLAD’s core litigation work, as well as our priorities of racial and economic justice, access to justice and state public policy advocacy.

Posted 8/04/17 – Boston, MA Open until filled

applybutton

Vice President & Chief Pharmacy Officer – Milwaukee, WI

The Vice President and Chief Pharmacy Officer is responsible for leading and directing the pharmacy operations enterprise-wide with an emphasis on succeeding within the ARCW Market Culture to increase access to care, enhance quality outcomes and achieve and surpass financial performance expectations.

Posted 9/20/17 -Milwaukee, WI Open until filled

applybutton

California PTC

Capacity Building Assistance (CBA) Program Manager, CAPTC

Under the direction of the California Prevention Training Center (CAPTC) Director, this position manages a national Center for Disease Control (CDC)-funded Capacity Building Assistance (CBA) Program to support high impact HIV prevention. The focus of the CBA Program is to improve the skills and knowledge of the HIV prevention workforce through trainings, technical assistance and resource development related to HIV testing, prevention with persons living with HIV and policy initiation. Capacity building activities are aimed at making changes at the practice level to reduce HIV disparities along the prevention and care continuum. The incumbent coordinates capacity building activities for local and state Health Departments and their designated partners, including community-based organizations, through the assessment, implementation and evaluation of technical assistance and training needs related to the delivery of HIV prevention services. This includes but is not limited to: oversight and completion of all grant-funded objectives, preparation of progress reports, supervision of up to four CBA specialists, participation in national grantee meetings, conferences and other events, coordinating and conducting technical assistance, training, and other capacity building activities as requested by CDC or health department partners.

Posted 10/17/17 – Oakland, CA: Open until filled

applybutton

GLSEN

Foundation Relations Manager

GLSEN seeks an experienced fundraising professional to fill the role of Foundation Relations Manager to provide full-service support to our institutional partners. This person will be responsible for managing and enhancing a successful and growing foundation portfolio which includes large corporate and traditional foundations, leading LGBTQ movement funders, and family foundations.

Posted 11/1/17 – New York, NY: Open until filled

applybutton

New Mission, Vision, And Name

New Mission, Vision, And Name

NMAC just completed an extensive strategic planning process that resulted in a new mission, vision and name.  This is the most extensive change in the agency’s history. It’s a direct response to feedback gathered from key stakeholders, constituents, board members and staff.  Some of their comments were very challenging. All were carefully considered. NMAC is […]

Making HIV History By Remembering Ours

Few things expose a society’s inequities like a crisis. In America, periods of conflict, or social and economic upheaval, reveal the best and worst of our collective nature. From our founding document, which enshrined racial inequality into the Constitution, to Japanese internment camps during World War II, America’s most celebrated moments are often blemished by […]