2024 PrEPpy Awards: Feb. 7 Deadline Approaching!

The February 7, 2024, deadline for the 3rd Annual PrEPpy Awards is fast approaching! Has your organization developed a successful campaign to get the message out about PrEP/U=U to priority populations? If your answer is yes, nominate your campaign! Or, nominate another one that you love! For more information on the criteria for submission, visit the website: https://www.biomedicalhivsummit.org/preppy-awards/Nomination form: https://nmac.submittable.com/submit/277381/2024-preppy-award-nominees

NMAC 2023: A Year in Review

As 2023 draws to a close, NMAC’s staff reflects on the impactful moments that made this year one to remember:

The Coalition for Justice and Equality Across Movements

The Coalition members in a picture togetherNMAC’s Coalition for Justice and Equality Across Movements is a finalist in the Non-Profit Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in Team & Leadership category in The Anthem Community Voice Awards. This award is a testament to the dedication and hard work of NMAC staff to make the first annual Coalition meeting in Marina Del Rey, California a success. The award also reflects NMAC’s and the Coalition’s commitment to working with leaders across diverse movements to ensure that our health, safety, and constitutional rights are not under attack. We look forward to working with our Coalition partners to continue for fighting for health equality for all as we enter a crucial Presidential election year in 2024.

Winners for the 3rd Annual Anthem Awards will be announced on Tuesday, January 30th, 2024. You can vote for the Coalition online up until Thursday, December 21, 2023 by clicking here.

The Training Center to End the HIV Epidemic in America

The Training Center to End the HIV Epidemic in America, or “The Center,” remains dedicated to cultivating leaders who are well-positioned to assume the responsibility of putting an end to the HIV/AIDS crisis.

The ESCALATE program expanded our impact by conducting in-person training sessions in cities such as Memphis, TN, San Antonio, TX, and Charlotte, NC. Meanwhile, ELEVATE paved the way for digital equity through a series of HIV/AIDS advocacy webinars, offering virtual training opportunities for both English and Spanish-speaking audiences. As registration numbers continue to climb for our upcoming January trainings – ESCALATE’s in Philadelphia, PA, and ELEVATE’s in Atlanta, GA – we are eagerly anticipating a productive and leader-driven 2024. The momentum is building, and we’re excited to make a meaningful impact in the new year.

Conferences Division

The Conferences division is proud to have carried out the theme, “A Love Letter to Black Women”, through our conferences: the Biomedical HIV Prevention Summit, and the US Conference on HIV/AIDS (USCHA).  The Summit featured a plenary session titled “Taking Control Over Our Bodies: Black Women, Sex, Violence, and HIV.” The event brought together a packed audience exclusive to Black women from various backgrounds.  The 2023 USCHA prioritized Black women as its focus population. This was reflected in an increased selection of workshops, scholarships, networking opportunities and cultural activities throughout the conference program. All four plenary sessions of USCHA focused on the issues of Black women. We are grateful to our partners and committee members who worked to create a meaningful experience at both events.

Treatment Division (REACH/PACT)

50 + hiv logoThe advocacy efforts of the HIV 50+/FAPP Aging WG initiating conversation with HOPWA’s Director, Rita Harcrow, and CMS’s Dr. Shari Ling, Deputy Chief Medical Officer for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and Medical Officer in the Center for Clinical Standards and Quality (CCSQ), on what these agencies are doing to respond to the specific housing and Medicare/Medicaid needs of older adults living with HIV.
The Gay Men of Color (GMoC) Fellowship successfully supported the leadership development of its 20 members, ensuring that those disproportionately affected by HIV take the lead in the movement. They were offered a series of skill-building workshops aimed at strengthening their advocacy capabilities, and a mentorship program connecting them with experienced advocates, facilitating the expansion of their work. Fellows also played an active role in shaping events such as the Summit and USCHA, in addition to initiating their own projects with the support of our mini-grants.
Looking ahead to 2024, NMAC remains committed to reducing the disparities towards gay men of color by building a stronger fieldforce by expanding the program’s reach.

Development Division

NMAC’s Development Division has strengthened in 2023! This year, our success was centered around NMAC’s annual events including BHPS, USCHA and the Hill Champions Reception. With record-breaking funds raised and attendance, we have set a high bar moving forward.
At NMAC, our partnerships will always remain a priority and the development team works to build and grow the relationships that we have with all of our supporters. Thank you for your support, sponsorship and contributions to our organization!
As of December 2023, NMAC’s Development Division is fully staffed to include three positions that will partner effectively to execute strategy and the necessary tasks to both maintain and increase revenue for NMAC moving forward.

Strategic Partnerships & Policy

In a challenging year marked by proposed cuts to HIV/AIDS funding, NMAC actively opposed reductions and, alongside Coalition partners, urged Congress to increase funding. Successful advocacy prevented the elimination of crucial HIV programs despite federal threats. NMAC also led initiatives to enhance the Older Americans Act for seniors with HIV, despite resistance in the House. While our language wasn’t included, we persist in urging Congress to do more for those 50+ and living with HIV.







Building on the theme from USCHA, NMAC hosted its largest-ever Hill Champions event, celebrating and honoring the outstanding women of the Congressional Black Caucus. On World AIDS Day, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health selected NMAC to present on the 25th anniversary of the Minority AIDS Initiative (MAI) as part of their HOPE Challenge.  NMAC is committed to restoring MAI funds to their original intent of supporting minority-led organizations. In 2024, our focus shifts to the elections, emphasizing health equity, anti-discrimination efforts, and HIV-related issues. Stay tuned for updates on our legislative agenda.

NMAC got a lot done this year, and we couldn’t have done it without you- the #NMACCommunity! Thank you for all you do, and we look forward to sharing this community with you in 2024.

NMAC’s Coalition For Justice & Equality Across Movements Named Finalist in Diversity, Equity & Inclusion for Third Annual Anthem Awards


NMAC’s Coalition For Justice & Equality Across Movements Named Finalist in Diversity, Equity & Inclusion for Third Annual Anthem Awards

Washington, DC — December 5, 2023 – Toni Newman, Director of NMAC’s Coalition for Justice & Equality Across Movements (“The Coalition”), announced today that The Coalition has been named a Finalist in Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion in The 3rd Annual Anthem Awards.

Anthem Winners are selected by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences. Members include: Nicholas Thompson, CEO, The Atlantic, Christina Swarns, Executive Director, Innocence Project, Zarna Surti, Global Creative Director, Nike Purpose, Maurice Mitchell, National Director, Working Families Party, Lindsay Stein, Chief Purpose Office, Tombras, Jennifer Lotito, President & Chief Operating Officer, (RED), Lisa Sherman, President & CEO, The Ad Council, Emily Barfoot, Global Brand Director Dove, Unilever, Trovon Williams, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications, NAACP, Roma McCaig, Senior VP of Impact, Clif Bar, Michelle Egan, Chief Strategy Officer, NRDC, Dinah-Kareen Jean, Senior Manager, Social Innovation, Etsy, Sarah Kate Ellis, President & CEO, GLAAD, Jad Finck, Vice President of Innovation & Sustainability, Allbirds, Christopher Miller, Head of Global Activism Strategy, Ben & Jerry’s, Shayla Tait, Director of Philanthropy The Oprah Winfrey Charitable Foundation.

The Coalition for Justice and Equality Across Movements unites national movement leaders to strategically counter growing vitriol against vulnerable and marginalized communities. The Coalition envisions an America where all communities have their rights protected at all levels of government and the law, and where public policies and resources promote their health, well-being, and safety. The official first Coalition meeting took place with great success in October 2023, where members set an organizational agenda around their shared goal of achieving “Health Equity For All”.

“NMAC’s Coalition for Justice and Equality Across Movements is fighting for Health Equity for All Regardless of Race, Sex, and Gender,” said Newman. “Every American deserves quality healthcare. We are honored to be a finalist and will continue the fight for Equity.”

“Since launching the Anthem Awards launch in 2021, we’ve seen incredible change and growth in the impact sector,” said Anthem Awards General Manager, Patricia McLoughlin. “The work that we have received in the 3rd Annual Anthem Anthem Awards is game-changing. From innovative projects fighting climate change to impactful calls for equal rights across the globe and best-in-class CSR and ESG efforts- the Anthem Community is a bright light in our uncertain world.”

Winners for the 3rd Annual Anthem Awards will be announced on Tuesday, January 30th, 2024. Finalists can be celebrated online from December 5th to December 21st at Celebrate.Anthemawards.com.

The Anthem Awards was launched in response to the prevalence social good has taken within the national conversation and cultural zeitgeist in recent years. The 3rd Annual competition received over 2,000 entries from more than 30 countries worldwide. By amplifying the voices that spark global change, the Anthem Awards are defining a new benchmark for impactful work that inspires others to take action in their communities. A portion of program revenue is allocated to our grant program, The Anthem Fund.


Find The Anthem Awards Online:

Website: anthemawards.com

Facebook:  facebook.com/anthemawards


Instagram: @anthemawards

LinkedIn: The Anthem Awards

YouTube: wbby.co/anthem-youtube


About The Anthem Awards:

Launched in 2021 by The Webby Awards, The Anthem Awards honors the purpose & mission-driven work of people, companies and organizations worldwide. By amplifying the voices that spark global change, we’re defining a new benchmark for impactful work that inspires others to take action in their own communities. The Anthem Awards honors work across seven core causes: Diversity; Equity & Inclusion; Education; Art & Culture; Health; Human & Civil Rights; Humanitarian Action & Services; Responsible Technology; and Sustainability, Environment & Climate. Founded in partnership with the Ad Council, Born This Way Foundation, Feeding America, Glaad, Mozilla, NAACP, NRDC, WWF, and XQ.

About The Webby Awards:

Hailed as the “Internet’s highest honor” by The New York Times, The Webby Awards is the leading international awards organization honoring excellence on the Internet, including Websites; Video; Advertising, Media & PR; Apps, Mobile, and Voice; Social; Podcasts; and Games. Established in 1996, The Webby Awards received more than 13,500 entries from all 50 states and 70 countries worldwide this year. The Webby Awards are presented by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (IADAS). Sponsors and Partners of The Webby Awards include Verizon, WP Engine, YouGov, Brandlive, Canva, NAACP, KPMG,  Fast Company, Wall Street Journal, MediaPost, Podcast Movement, and AIGA.

About NMAC:

The Coalition for Justice & Equality Across Movements is a programmatic initiative by NMAC, formerly the National Minority AIDS Council. NMAC leads with race to urgently fight for health equity and racial
justice to end the HIV epidemic in America.

Inquiries welcomed at communications@nmac.org.

NMAC PACT Partners 

NMAC is proud to be a part of the CDC’s Partnering and Communicating Together (PACT) program, where we partner with community organizations to share important HIV prevention & treatment information with priority communities. As we wrap up Year 2 of the program, we want to take a moment to highlight our partners. Please read about these amazing organizations and consider following them on social media.  


Centro Ararat, founded in 2001, offers primary health services in its six clinics, located in Ponce, Juana Díaz, San Juan, and Arecibo. For the past two decades, Centro Ararat has offered comprehensive clinical care services in a friendly and welcoming environment. Their integrated health care model focuses on the knowledge and talent of their clinical services team, which includes medical and nursing staff, medical case managers, nutritionists, and psychologists. They have been sharing HIV treatment and prevention messaging to their communities throughout Puerto Rico, including through their Translucent clinic, which provides services specifically for TGNC clients. Learn more here 


affirming christian fellowship logo

Affirming Christian Fellowship (ACF) is an association of LGBT affirming evangelical ministries and individuals. ACF’s mission is focused on the LGBT community and its allies to provide a safe place for LGBT people to discover and rediscover Christianity and to give people from all different backgrounds an opportunity to be educated about homosexuality and Christianity. Each year, they hold an annual conference open to all that is designed for networking, fellowship, education and worship. ACF has been helping share information around PrEP and U=U with their constituents. Learn more here 


us aging logo

USAging is the national association representing and supporting the network of Area Agencies on Aging and advocating for the Title VI Native American Aging Programs. Their members help older adults and people with disabilities throughout the United States live with optimal health, well-being, independence and dignity in their homes and communities. USAging is dedicated to supporting the success of their members through advancing public policy, sparking innovation, strengthening the capacity of their members, raising their visibility and working to drive excellence in the fields of aging and home and community-based services. USAging has been sharing information around HIV awareness in the aging justice space. Learn more here 

noage (new orleans advocates for lgbtq+ elders) logo

NOAGE (New Orleans Advocates for LGBTQ+ Elders) provides services and advocacy for LGBTQ+ older adults in the New Orleans metro area. The unique challenges faced by LGBT older adults require a unique response. SAGE New Orleans hosts socialization/educational events for LGBT older adults, and works to increase the cultural competency of providers through trainings and workshops. As advocates on behalf of the LGBT older adult community, NOAGE is committed to ensuring that all LGBT older adults can live their best lives with the dignity, respect, and good health that they deserve. NOAGE is sharing information HIV testing, treatment, and prevention among their community members. Learn more here. 


migrant health center logo 

Migrant Health Center, (MHC, Inc.), provides high-quality and integrated health services at their clinics in Mayagüez, Guánica, Yauco, Isabela, Lajas, San Sebastián, Las Marías, Maricao, and its Special Projects division. Their services consist of family physicians, general practitioners, pediatricians, general internists, OB/Gyn, dentists, optometrist, mental health professionals, pharmacies, vaccinations and medical laboratories. MHC, Inc. also provides services for the prevention and treatment of HIV. They are helping share Spanish-language HIV prevention and treatment messaging to their clients in Puerto Rico. Learn more here 

 new voices for reproductive justice logo 

New Voices for Reproductive Justice is dedicated to transforming society for the holistic health and wellbeing of Black women, girls and gender-expansive people, nationally and in Pennsylvania and Ohio. They help dismantle patriarchal anti-Blackness using the tools of community organizing, leadership development, and voter engagement. Reproductive Justice, their guiding framework, is an innovative, radical, movement designed specifically to engage Black people marginalized by gender in local, national and global movement-building for Racial Justice, Gender Justice, and Environmental Justice. They are using their platform to share PrEP information specifically prioritizing Black women. Learn more here 


entre hermanos logo

Entre Hermanos came into being by the initiative of a group of LGBTQ+ Latinos/as who saw the need for social, educational, and health support services in their community in the spring of 1991. They are dedicated to promoting the health and well-being of the Latino LGBTQ+ community of Seattle in a culturally appropriate environment through disease prevention, education, support services, advocacy and community building. Entre Hermanos is sharing materials promoting CDC’s newest testing campaign, Together TakeMeHome (TTMH), a project with the goal of distributing up to 1 million free HIV self-tests over the next five years. Learn more about Entre Hermanos here 



qlatinx logo 

QLatinx is a grassroots racial, social, and gender justice organization dedicated to the advancement and empowerment of Central Florida’s LGBTQ+ Latinx community. QLatinx seeks to center and empower the most marginalized members of our community, establish affirming and supportive healing spaces, build a strong and united community, and work towards a society free of fear, violence, and hate. They have helped share information about PrEP, U=U, and anti-stigma efforts. Learn more about QLatinx here 


the legacy project logo

The Legacy Project works nationally to increase awareness of and build support for HIV prevention and treatment, clinical and behavioral research by addressing factors that influence participation of historically underrepresented communities. The Legacy Project achieves its core mission through ongoing and strategic engagement, collaboration, education, and scientific investigation. Learn more about the Legacy Project here. 

NMAC’s Coalition for Justice and Equality welcomes Capri Maddox, JD!

NMAC’s Coalition for Justice and Equality Across Movements is honored to welcome Capri Maddox, JD, as the guest speaker to the Annual Coalition dinner. 

Capri Maddox is the Executive Director of the Civil + Human Rights and Equity Department (LA Civil Rights), which enforces civil rights law in private sector commerce, education, employment, and housing, and works to address hate, inequity, and structural racism through community partnerships. Mrs. Maddox was appointed as the department’s founding Executive Director in 2020 by former Mayor Eric Garcetti and currently serves Mayor Karen Bass in this role.

Under Mrs. Maddox’s leadership, LA Civil Rights levels the playing field with the support of the LA City Council, and LA Civil Rights’ five commissions (the Commission on Civil Rights, the Commission on the Status of Women, the Human Relations Commission, the Transgender Advisory Council, and the Reparations Advisory Commission). Mrs. Maddox has a Bachelors of Science in Criminal Justice and a Masters of Science in Public Administration from California State University, Los Angeles. She received her Juris Doctorate from Pepperdine University’s Caruso School of Law. Capri resides in Los Angeles County with her husband and teenage son.

2023 USCHA 50+ Scholar Reflections

Group Picture of NMAC’s 50+ Strong and Healthy Program

NMAC’s 50+ Strong and Healthy Program trains older adults living with HIV and other Long-Term Survivors to become leaders in their communities. The program offers opportunities for 50+ Scholars to participate in peer health education activities, design and implement mini grant projects, and participate in social media advocacy campaigns. 50+ Scholars are also invited to apply to join the National HIV and Aging Advocacy Network (NHAAN) to work with other advocates to advance an HIV and aging policy agenda.

The 50+ Program launches each year at the US Conference on HIV/AIDS, where 50 HIV and aging advocates are awarded scholarships to attend the conference and learn the latest information regarding HIV and aging. The following are reflections from some of the 50+ Scholars who attended USCHA 2023 in Washington, D.C.


Hispanic man over 50 LWH at USCHA 2023Bernardo Gomez – Los Angeles, CA

When I was diagnosed with HIV, I was 24 years old, and I thought I was never going to live past my 50’s. Now, I just turned 50 and have been living with HIV for 26 years. I still can’t believe how time passes so fast. In those 26 years, I learned how to maintain my health and change HIV treatment when it was needed due to side effects or intolerance.  When I had the opportunity to meet other people also living with HIV, and who can understand your barriers, you feel you are in heaven.   Other people have less opportunities accessing HIV services due to funding in their area. After attending USCHA 2023, I made a promise myself to keep taking care of myself, attend my doctor’s appointment and be aware of any health issues I may have in the future due to my HIV and aging.


Bill Hall – Seattle, WA

I always enjoy the stories I hear both at the Breakout Sessions and socially. They show our resilience so clearly, and that the hard times only gave us resolve to work and make our lives, and our communities lives, better as advocates for those who are HIV+ or living with AIDS.  This conference never fails to give me hope, and it re-energizes me to continue my work as an Advocate for the Native American Community here in Seattle.


Brenda Chambers – St. Helens, Oregon

One of the things that stood out for me most is I did not know that there was a cure in sight, and what are we going to do with all our health care problems that HIV has caused us after the cure. Also, in the session with older Americans and HIV where we were able to just talk about the problems that we see, I was heartened by the fact that we were able to speak freely. I heard about the problems that we’re facing in our state and everywhere in the country. And that there is no end in sight of this.

One other thing that stood out for me was that our partners in health care at the federal level really are listening to us especially our federal HIV/AIDS advisor.



Cecilia Ligons – Houston, TX

USCHA 2023 really rejuvenated my spirit to speak up and speak out. I am a person who has been living with HIV for 32 years and advocating on behalf of the HIV community since 2006, locally, regionally, and nationally. I have empowered/mentored so many people who have become well-known leaders in the field of HIV. I started to feel as if I had done my part and could now fade into the background and let the new boots take the reign.

USCHA 2023 has ignited a fire within me. I recall one of my most impactful workshops was “The HIV Possible” Centering Faith Based Resources and Direct Service WOC.” I honestly tried my best to sit silently and just listen. It didn’t take that long before my hand flew up and my mouth began to speak. I then began to realize that I can’t just sit on the side lines and do nothing. My life matters, my thoughts matter and deserve to be heard. There is still so much work to do in the field of advocating for people living with HIV. The struggle is real, and stigma is still strong as ever. The USCHA 2023 have taught me new ways to address some issues and still embrace many of the old school way of doing some things.

The networking opportunities at the USCHA 2023 were massive. I had about five to seven bags of information. I received so many contacts and business cards from all over the state regarding the work being accomplished in the HIV field. I passed out so many business cards myself. It has been two weeks since the conference and I am still sorting out emails, information, and business cards. I especially enjoyed the 50+ lounge. Although it was design to take a break from all the hustle and bustle of the workshops, I loved the way it was set up. The idea to have an organization to host the lounge every few hours was brilliant. I was able to relax and engage with others, which was fun and excited and created even more networking opportunities. Thank you again for this chance to attend such a grand and magnificent event. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of the 50+ cohort team. I especially want to thank you for reminding me that my voice is still needed at the table and my life matters.


Chuck Albrecht – Phoenix, AZ

As an HIV 50+ Scholar I appreciated the opportunity NMAC provided me to attend USCHA. My concerns regarding the lack of planning on a national level to address the needs and ever-growing HIV community in the 50+ community were confirmed. This has motivated me to become more active as an advocate to demand action from those in power.

On a more positive note, even while facing what seems to be insurmountable obstacles, the passion and commitment I witnessed on from Black women at the conference both enlightened me and gave me hope.


Clarence Ruff – Detroit, MI

The brother and sisterhood of fellowship with all the individuals present was inspiring and the warmth was overwhelming. All of this released the will to share and gain knowledge to bring back to our community viable and informative information concerning HIV and to eliminate stigma.

I hope to be a part of USCHA conference in 2024 to get the opportunity to help advance the knowledge concerning PLWH and those impacted. We are human beings who have a medical condition that allows us to live good and happy lives with our spouses, children, families, partners, and our community. We should not be exempt from being respected and to be treated with dignity as any other members of the human family.


 Two attendees at USCHA 2023Claude Bowen – Lithonia, GA

This year was particularly exciting as the role of Black women in this very long struggle was highlighted. Women have been in this struggle from the beginning and have often stood in the shadows of the men they support. To witness the acknowledgement and celebration of our sisters was an awesome spiritual event for me. Special because all along my journey as a long-time survivor of HIV, women have been my champions and cheering squad. They allowed me to cry, scream and even complain while holding me close and encouraging me to live as I healed. Every film clip, spoken word, song, photo and speech spoke to my being. My heart is filled with gratitude.

As a community advocate it is important and essential that I keep abreast of what is happening in the HIV Education and Prevention arena. Coming to USCHA is always an exciting time for gaining new information and enhancing the knowledge I already have. It also provides the opportunity to strengthen old bonds and the space to create new networks. The networking that takes place outside of the plenaries, institutes and seminars is where bonds are made, information is shared, and alliances are made. It was also very exciting to see the efforts of the older generation be recognized and their participation in the struggle as leaders, mentors, innovators, influencers, and advocates be encouraged.


Cynthia Rodgers – Birmingham, AL

I felt special and honored from the moment I read the acceptance letter for the scholarship. Upon my arrival to DC, I stood in an extremely long line to check into the hotel, and out of nowhere, Paul Kawata comes over and gives me the warmest hug and welcomes me as if I was a dignitary!  There were so many hugs and kisses in that long line, and it was absolutely beautiful.  Then there was the conference registration line. I was humbled by my less-than-optimal health.  There was so much I wanted to do and so many sessions I wanted to attend but my knees were aching, and I didn’t have the endurance to do as much as I wanted to do.  I am an incredible spirit housed in an aesthetically pleasing fine brown frame, and I am healthy with an undetectable viral load and a robust CD-4 count. I felt so celebrated and blessed just to be in the space with 4,000 amazing humans who share one thing in common – HIV.


Panel at USCHA 2023Franklin Sampley – Indianapolis, IN

I love being at USCHA.  I feel that being in that environment and surrounded by folks working in the field – be it education, client services, research, or a dozen other aspects – always inspires me to come home and to do more.  I find the time together even socially is energizing and so worth it.  This year I loved the plenaries – each one was different and so very good.  I thought the choir that sang was incredible.  Just knowing and hearing from people from such diverse backgrounds lets me know that folks still care and are still trying to make a difference for people living with HIV and to stop AIDS.  Being a part of the 50+ Cohort is so meaningful as it allows me to be around and meet several others whose stories are similar to mine.  People who have survived a long time and doing well and thriving.  I particularly love sitting together during the plenaries or spending time together in the lounge, as this is when you really get to know your cohorts and can share personal stories.  I hope this program is always a part of USCHA.

I love the workshops that address issues related to aging with HIV.  I think there are so many dynamics that these workshops really allow for us to learn new information and to find out things we should be aware of both personally and in dealing with others.  I in particular liked hearing from the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA) as I found the work being done interesting.  As a retiree of federal service after many years as a Government Analyst for the Social Security Administration, I found it interesting that they were not represented and brought this up to the panel.  I would like to see the disability guidelines for Social Security modified to address many of the elements that are now known about people aging with HIV.  It seems that all these various factions, including CDC are recognizing the issue of advanced aging, etc., but it is not being addressed at a critical juncture and that is when a person reaches the point of needing to go on disability.  The guidelines are still based on science that in some areas is outdated.  I did speak with a couple of the panel members who said they appreciated the information and would be pursuing the involvement of SSA in the panel.  So, I will look forward to seeing that happen.  I think it’s critical that every agency that can potentially impact our life be involved and SSA is a major player in that arena.  Where else would I ever get the opportunity to share this idea or information with PACHA other than USCHA?  So, thank you for this great opportunity.


Lilieth Conolly – Santa Monica, CA

The gathering of numerous Black women from different states, both near and far, was truly inspiring. It is a significant and long-awaited event that is much needed in the current climate of violence, particularly against Black women and young girls. Regardless of how we identify ourselves, whether it be cisgender, transgender, nonbinary, queer, heterosexual, lesbian, or any other label, it is crucial that we come together in order to make substantial progress in ending the HIV epidemic.

One of the most important lessons I took away from this powerful conference is that as women, we are stronger together than we realize. This is the time for us to accelerate the provision of healthcare, testing, and linkages to care. We must intensify our efforts in serving the most heavily impacted populations, such as the Black communities, specifically women whom we know are still to this day, disproportionately affected.  We must collaborate with other facilities, organizations, and Cohorts in offering medical and non-medical comprehensive services to these afore mentioned hardest hit communities.

My goal going forward, is to work hand in hand with these organizations to secure funding from initiatives such as the MAI and Black Initiatives funding, which will further aid our cause.

I would like to see us continue to forge ahead and form partnerships with smaller organizations to improve our chances of accessing the necessary funding.

By doing so, we can make a tangible difference in the fight against the HIV epidemic and ensure better health outcomes for all. I plan to do my part as a newly appointed member on the Supervisory Board of Los Angeles County Commission On HIV, fellow Advocate, and RWP Consumer.

This was my first or time attending the USCHA, and I truly appreciated due to the many informative, relevant, and engaging topics/sessions.  Thank you again for this wonderful and unforgettable opportunity.


Marcia Gullatte – Birmingham, AL

I was so excited to read the email that confirmed that I was selected to be a part of the 2023-2024 HIV 50 + Cohort at the USCHA Conference.  It is an honor to be among this esteemed group of individuals.  The members of this group are among the giants in our community nationally and now I am counted as a member.

When I arrived at the first plenary 50 + table, I realized that this group is a family. I saw how each member greeted each other and showed so much concern for each other. My heart is filled with gratitude, to know that I too am a part of this group.

On Friday night of the USCHA conference, it was a privilege to attend “Voices of Experience: Listening to Older Adults with LWH and LTS”.  The food was amazing. Meeting new members of my new family was delightful. I loved the movie.  I was enthralled with the listening session in which we had the opportunity to share our concerns about aging with HIV. I am waiting with great anticipation to see how the information gathered will be utilized in creating change to address these concerns. America was not prepared for us, but despite great adversity, we are here and thriving. Now that we were heard it is time for action. I am eager to see the change and to be a part of that change.


Mary Lucero-Hill – Denver, CO

There are no words to describe how I feel after attending USCHA 2023.  From the moment I saw the Washington Monument on one side and the Capital building across the grass on the other side while in the Uber to the hotel…I became part of history.  I literally shed tears.  I could not believe I was in the space where laws are made for our nation!  Overwhelmed does not even begin to describe my emotions in that moment.  And I haven’t even reached the hotel, nor the start of the conference!

The conference itself was overwhelming and overstimulating.  I was amongst the best of the best in the fight against HIV/AIDS.  All I could do was become a sponge to the experience.  I was able to interact with other professionals in the field (doctors, prevention staff, advocates, and educators); learning their lived and professional experience and how it relates to ending the HIV epidemic.  Being part of the 50+ Strong and Healthy cohort has afforded me the opportunity to learn more about the aging process and how best to help not only myself as I age with HIV, but how to assist my clients in thriving well.  As a PLWH, and a Case Manager in the field, all those who are professionals in the field should have the opportunity to experience this at least once.  This has been and will forever be a once in a lifetime experience that I will NEVER forget!


Two attendees posing with book at USCHASusan Baldridge – Smithtown, NY

The USCHA this year was in one word: Magical!

I choose the word magical because that is how everyday felt like at the conference. This year, over 4000 people attended the conference, and I must say that everyone I encountered was kind and nice.

To imagine a world where everyone got along and there was no judgement, no stigma, just pure genuine kindness, that is what this year’s conference was like. People walking around, talking about HIV without having to worry who heard and who saw them. Watching all the people gather in the hotel lobby, laughing and enjoying themselves was magical.

Then, there were the workshop’s, the workshops were so interesting and informative. I especially took interest in the Native American workshops. It’s nice being a Native American and to see workshops on Native Americans was awesome.

I really enjoyed my time at the conference, and I am looking forward to attending the next conference.


Victoria Graves-Cade – Brooklyn, NY

What a celebration of love, empowerment, energy, and commitment. A Recognition and Validation of the importance and contributions that Black Women have made to our society and our nation. The 4-hour train ride from New York City to D.C. allowed me the time to pause and take a moment to appreciate the opportunity this conference would have on my life and the lives of so many that would attend.

I hit the ground running catching up with my dear friend and ride or die for over 20 years, Denise Drayton (50+Scholar), to map out our schedule. There was so much to decide, and I was disappointed we would not be able to attend all the sessions. Every morning started in private prayer, breakfast with my friend and new people we met and then off to the schedule. I attended the workshop called, “Demanding Better: Advancing Quality of Life in the National HIV Response,” and the Opening Plenary with Congresswoman Maxine Waters. She had a rich message, though some verbiage used was outdated.

Every day was an absolute gift of speakers, panelist, exhibitors, and lounges that had us full of pride and hope. I am charged to join the HIV Caucus where I learned about MIPA (Meaningful Involvement People with AIDS) and things like “If they are not letting you at the table, bring a folding chair” and “Demand your Quality of Life.”  We were uplifted in song by Sweet Honey In the Rock and the always stellar, Yolanda Adams. Sheryl Lee Ralph’s message was clear and empowering.

We gazed on and celebrated our powerful Lifetime Survivors/Dandelions with awe and appreciation for our linked experiences, stigma, strength and hope for our futures together.

Truth telling, Conversations, Celebration, Healing and Womanhood just to name a few topics and spaces available throughout this magnificent conference. So many safe spaces to learn, share and grow.

I got a chance to take the DC Metro #70 bus to 633 Pennsylvania Ave to visit for the first time the only building owned and operated by Black Women on Pennsylvania Ave by the National Council of Negro Women, INC of which I am a Legacy Life Member. What an overwhelming joy it was to see.

The messages that stuck with me were many and so were the people I met, but I will name a few. “In Her We Trust”; “When you find that real love for yourself build a house”. “Take your power back-Live Life with Intention.”

Thank you NMAC and USCHA for seeing us Black Woman living long and vibrantly with HIV and putting us center stage.

Speaker at USCHATwo attendees at USCHA


Yolanda Ross – Houston, TX

I can honestly say that I am truly honored to be a part of this amazing cohort and attending the USCHA for the very first time. As an African American woman who is thriving and living strong with HIV and empowered to eradicate stigma attached to HIV/AIDS, I must say that this conference has motivated me to continue to speak my truth and celebrate women of color who are living with HIV/AIDS.

I learned so much about addressing issues in biomedical HIV prevention, aging, service delivery, and telehealth, prioritizing the issues of people with HIV and the next steps in ending the epidemic. I look forward to the next USCHA conference in 2024 and I hope I am able to attend once again.

USCHA Dress Code

The United States Conference on HIV/AIDS is a safe space for people highly impacted by HIV. Please read and follow the Anti-Harassment Policy. The gathering values diversity, equality, and justice. Attendees can be themselves in all their fabulosity. However, the world still hates us, so please be careful outside of the bubble. Out of respect and to honor Congresswoman Maxine Waters and all the Black Women (cis & trans) fighting to end the epidemic, we ask attendees to dress in their Sunday Best for the Opening Plenary on Wednesday, September 6th. Crowns are optional but encouraged. Last year staff wore Guayaberas, this year maybe crowns. Being an ally opens your world to new experiences and traditions. Learning the values, hopes, and dreams of the communities we need to reach is central to our work. As we have documented, there is not a one size fits all PrEP program. Our efforts must speak to the diversity of people our work needs to reach and do it by honoring their cultures.

The 2023 USCHA will be one of our largest gatherings. Our movement is showing up for Black Women the way they show up for us. Registration is closed because we’ve reached capacity. I apologize to folks who cannot attend. I know it’s disappointing. There is an underground market for registrations but we do not recommend buying a registration from a stranger.

USCHA asks for patience and understanding when moving thousands of people from workshops to plenaries back to workshops. Community drives the vision and trainings. USCHA thanks the amazing advisory committee:

Early on, I was politely told to stay out. The meeting was curated by Black Women and my job was to learn how to be an ally. Before you talk about what the meeting didn’t include, experience all the new things that are added this year. Let USCHA unfold and be surprised. Don’t let the haters take your joy!

While the focus is on Black Women, the online agenda lists workshops, posters, and institutes that address the variety of communities highly impacted by HIV. It is interesting that I did not get the same feedback last year when we focused on Puerto Rico. Think of the women who sit through too many HIV meetings that mostly prioritize men.

Thirty-five percent of the attendees are living with HIV. COVID is on an upswing. USCHA encourages all attendees to wear masks. Since we are not experts, the conference will follow all local health department rules. We invite participants to be fully vaccinated.

Please use social media to tell the story of Black Women and HIV. There will be many Instagramable Moments! Post or link to NMAC’s Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube pages. HIV is not over; we are still fighting to end the epidemic. The public narrative is dominated by anti-woke elected officials who want to “take America back.” We need a counter narrative that celebrates the beauty and diversity of our communities, particularly the transgender community. If we don’t fight back, they win.

For new attendees, protests are part of the USCHA experience. It is in the DNA of our movement. However, USCHA draws a clear line between protests and violence. Violence is never acceptable. If your agency is planning a demonstration, please let the organizers know in advance. The optics of a protest can be very challenging if you are shutting down the voices of Black Women.

USCHA could not happen without our sponsors, particularly to cover the cost of hundreds of scholarships. We are grateful for their support.

I look forward to seeing everyone. Please be safe, as travel is crazy right now. Download the conference app. Late breaking information will be posted there. There will not be a printed program; however, you can print out the online version.

Yours in the Struggle,





Paul Kawata