Important Happenings in HIV/Health Policy
Week Ending: June 01, 2018
By: Matthew Rose & Sable K. Nelson
Federal Fiscal Year 2019 Appropriations Season is Upon Us
In the coming weeks, the Appropriations Committees of both of the U.S. House and U.S. Senate will mark up the Federal Fiscal Year 2019 Appropriations bills. Markup is the process by which a Congress debates, amends, and rewrites proposed legislation. An appropriations bill is a piece of legislation that sets money aside for specific government spending. This is the third step in the Federal Budget Process:
Defense Department Sued over Policies Denying Service Opportunities to People Living with HIV (PLWH)
Lambda Legal and OutServe-SLDN filed two cases in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia against the Defense Department. The cases are entitled Harrison v. Mattis and Voe v. Mattis. The Harrison case was filed on behalf of Sgt. Nick Harrison, a veteran of two overseas combat zones who was denied a position in the Judge Advocate General (JAG) Corps because current Pentagon policy considers service members living with HIV non-deployable, and will not allow them to enlist or to be appointed as officers. The Voe case, was filed on behalf of a sergeant in the D.C. Army National Guard who was denied the opportunity to serve as an officer and faces possible discharge from the United States armed services because he is living with HIV. The lawsuit challenges the Pentagon’s current policies preventing enlistment, deployment, or commissioning as an officer for a person living with HIV, and likely would affect implementation of the new “Deploy or Get Out” policy unveiled by the Trump administration in February. For more information, READ the legal briefs →
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 be on Capitol Hill this week speaking to legislators about the importance of sustained funding for HIV programs
- NMAC has been working in coalition around equal treatment for people of color living with HIV and vulnerable HIV to serve in the military
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.
- Find your U.S. Senators: https://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm
- Find your U.S. Representative: https://www.house.gov/representatives/find-your-representative
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:
South Carolina 6/12/2018
North Dakota 6/12/2018
District of Columbia 6/19/2018
New York 6/26/2018
For more information, VISIT→ http://www.ncsl.org/research/elections-and-campaigns/2018-state-primary-election-dates.aspx