Rep. Lee (D-CA) Introduces Bill on Status of National HIV/AIDS Strategy

Rep. Lee (D-CA) Introduces Bill on Status of National HIV/AIDS Strategy
Last week, Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) introduced HR 1880 with 87 co-sponsors, which calls for a status report on the implementation of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy and progress toward achieving universal access to treatment for people living with HIV/AIDS.

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HIV/AIDS Funding
This week, the United States reached its legal debt limit. Congress will have to raise the limit, or risk defaulting on its debts. Congressional Republicans are pushing for further budget cuts in return for raising the limit. Meanwhile, NMAC signed onto several letters to Congress urging members to protect HIV/AIDS funding in the fiscal year 2012 budget.

NMAC will keep its constituents updated on any developments regarding the debt ceiling and 2012 budget negotiations and any potential impact on HIV/AIDS funding.

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Rep. Hastings (D-FL) Introduces Bill to Increase HIV Screenings
Earlier this month, Congressman Alcee Hastings (D-FL) introduced the Increasing Access to Voluntary Screening for HIV/AIDS and STIs Act of 2011, aimed at reducing the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. Among other things, the bill requires Medicaid to cover voluntary screening for HIV/AIDS and other STIs as a mandatory service for all individuals 13 and older, and requires the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to provide Medicare reimbursement for such tests for all beneficiaries.

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HHS Releases Action Plan on Viral Hepatitis
On May 12, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released its Action Plan for the Prevention, Care and Treatment of Viral Hepatitis. The plan, which outlines an evidence-based strategy for combating the epidemic, is a critical first step in ensuring a coordinated response to this highly infectious and potentially deadly disease affecting millions of Americans.

Read NMAC’s statement on HHS’s action plan here »

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National Asian/Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
Today is National Asian/Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NAPIHAAD). According to CDC surveillance data, Asians/Pacific Islanders are the only racial/ethnic group in the United States where HIV infection rates are actually increasing. At the same time, APIs are less likely than other minorities to be tested for HIV. NAPIHAAD offers an important opportunity to highlight the needs of this community and educate APIs about the epidemic.

Read NMAC’s statement on NAPIHAAD here »

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HIV Vaccine Awareness Day
Yesterday, May 18, was HIV Vaccine Awareness Day. As part of the National HIV Vaccine Research Education Initiative (NHVREI), NMAC understands that finding a safe and effective vaccine to prevent the spread of HIV is our best hope for putting an end to this devastating epidemic. Huge strides are being made in HIV/AIDS research every day, and we must ensure that vaccine trials receive both adequate funding and appropriate minority representation. Thirty years into the epidemic, it is our best hope of finally bringing it to an end.

Read NMAC’s statement on HVAD here »

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Study Demonstrates Value of Anti-Retrovirals as Prevention Tool
Results of a study released by the HIV Prevention Trials Network on May 12 demonstrated conclusively what many in the HIV/AIDS community have argued for years, that early treatment with anti-retroviral therapies (ARTs) significantly reduces the risk of HIV transmission to un-infected persons. The study further highlights the importance of ensuring the availability of medications to all people living with HIV, not just for the health of those individuals, but as an important public health and prevention tool.

Read NMAC’s statement on the study here »

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International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia
Tuesday, May 17, was the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. The day, which commemorates the date in 1990 that the World Health Organization removed homosexuality from its International Classification of Diseases, is meant to spread awareness of the world’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender population, and address the misconceptions and fears that permeate our society when it comes to the LGBT community. Addressing the stigma associated with being gay or transgender is hugely important in reducing the spread of HIV/AIDS.

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About NMAC
The National Minority AIDS Council (NMAC) builds leadership within communities of color to address challenges of HIV/AIDS. Since 1987, NMAC has advanced this 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 publications and a website: http://www.nmac.org/.

Today, NMAC is 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 AIDS epidemic. NMAC’s advocacy efforts are funded through private funders and donors only.

For more information, contact NMAC directly at (202) 483-NMAC (6622) or communications@nmac.org.

About NMAC on the Hill
NMAC wants to make sure that our constituents are up to date on the latest activities in Congress and around Washington, DC that affect HIV/AIDS programs, funding, and the broader movement. To accomplish this, we will be sending regular updates on legislation, meetings and other happenings in the nation’s capital to keep you informed on what matters to our community.

Click here to email this message to a friend. To sign up for NMAC on the Hill, click here.

Visit the agency online at http://www.nmac.org/

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