Biomedical Summit 2018: Scholarships

Meet the 2019 Youth Initiative Scholars!

N.M.A.C. Youth InitiativeOn behalf of NMAC and our funders – ViiV Healthcare, and collaborative partner Advocates for Youth, we are pleased to announce the 2019 Youth Initiative Scholars! This program empowers young leaders in the HIV community with leadership skills, as well as improves HIV and public health literacy to bring back and apply within their communities and organizations.

The Youth Initiative, now in its eighth year, brings together the next generation of leaders ages 18–25 (known as Youth Scholars) to participate in a seven-month, comprehensive program to help end the HIV epidemic in the U.S. As part of this program, Youth Scholars will gain opportunities to develop leadership, increase their knowledge, and build confidence while integrating key youth-specific messaging in local, state and national HIV/AIDS programs and advocacy agendas.

The Youth Scholars will also attend the U.S. Conference on HIV/AIDS (USCHA), held online Oct. 19-21, 2020. During the conference, Youth Scholars will participate in sessions meant to advance their leadership skills, build confidence, and learn new ways to prioritize youth within HIV/AIDS programs and policies in their communities.

Congratulations to the following Scholars and Mentors for their acceptance into the 2019 Youth Initiative Program!


Meet the Youth Initiative Scholars

Mario Campos is a 25-year-old, Salvadoran with a bachelor’s degree in International Relationships and recently graduated from his second degree in International Business from Broward College – Florida.

From a young age, Mario has participated in public speaking and poetry events, and has won two public speaking competitions when representing his country. His excellent academic record helped him to obtain multiple scholarships for different international exchange programs including programs in Costa Rica, Panama, and the United States, where he completed a course in Harvard University in 2015. Also, he is actively engaged in activities from his church and community organizations such as the AFROOS Organization (Salvadoran Youth Organization for the Afro-descendant and LGBTQIA community) and he knows sign language.

In 2017, he was crowned as Miss Gay El Salvador and he developed different projects to empower the Salvadorian LGBTQIA community, raising a voice for this traditionally marginalized and excluded community. Also, he led a legislative initiative demanding fair treatment and equal employment opportunity for the LGBTQIA community in El Salvador. In 2019, he was selected by the US Department of Health to become a youth fellow at the national convention for HIV, and in 2020, the President of El Salvador awarded him the recognition of “Young Influencer El Salvador 2020”

Currently, he is an UN volunteer and one of the 10 young spokespersons for the “Ideas that Work” program promoted by the Senate of Argentina and the United Nations. Also, he delivers talks on youth empowerment and immigrant children, and he is writing a book on personal growth. He supports Florida Department of Health as a coordinator for HIV prevention and leadership groups and works as a counselor in the Clear and Life Coaching program focused in providing support to undocumented individuals newly diagnosed with HIV.

Jenadra Harvey hails from the state of Connecticut. While there, she obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Individualized: Urban Youth Development and Health (Minors in Psychology & Human Development + Family Studies) from the University of Connecticut. Her experiences at UCONN led her to attend Howard University and obtain a Master of Education in School Psychology and Counseling Services. Jenadra Harvey currently works as a School Psychologist in Maryland. In her practice, she hopes to create spaces to serve marginalized populations in inner cities by encouraging conversations around education and (physical, sexual, and mental) health. This field and the public service work that she engages in will permit Jenadra to bring about the assistance and change that is needed in inner cities across the nation.


JyLan Jones (no bio)

Kody Keckler (he/they) is a Research Associate at the Ruth M. Rothstein CORE Center. They started their career in HIV prevention research, spending the last three years implementing interventions to help young people access and adhere to PrEP. As of April, though, Kody has transitioned to COVID-19 projects to meet the need of the moment. Prior to their research work, Kody worked with the sexual assault services at Northwestern University, helping design information campaigns and compiling resources for an intake handbook. Kody graduated from Northwestern University in 2017 studying Communication and Gender & Sexuality Studies. Their professional interests include addressing health disparities among queer and trans youth and using queer theory as a lens to deconstruct systems of oppression.

Timmy R. Kimber is a 24-year-old native of Belzoni, MS and 2014 honors graduate of Humphreys County High School. He studied Communication and Theatre at Jackson State University. Timmy is a philanthropist and the CLEAR Coordinator for Us Helping Us, People Into Living, Inc. In his current role, he serves people living with HIV/AIDS and those that are at risk. Timmy has served on several state and national advisory boards including Mississippi Center for Justice. Whether he is serving on an advisory board or simply encouraging others with conversations that move them forward, Timmy is always seeking innovative and unconventional ways to advance the causes and missions of organizations committed to public health. He is a member of MADRAMA Performance Troupe at Jackson State University. But every super-hero has downtime, and when he’s not fighting the cause for others and himself, he’s reading, doing research, learning the ins and outs of politics, or his absolute favorite hobby, residential and commercial interior design. Timmy hails from a small town in the Mississippi Delta, yet wise. Whether it’s public health or interior design, Timmy’s passion is creating a space for people to live, laugh, and love. He is a member of Wasp Lake Missionary Baptist Church where Lisa R. Day serves as the pastor. His motto in life comes from Proverbs 18:16 which says, “A man’s gift makes room for him and brings him before great men!”


Rocky Kingsley (no bio)


Jordan McKinnon joins us as a program Scholar. Jordan recently graduated from DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana. While at DePauw he majored in Neuropsychology with a minor in East Asian Religious Studies. He also was a member of Sigma Nu fraternity and a co-founder Queer People of Color (QPOC), an organization that gave queer students of color the space and opportunity to be heard in an otherwise cis-heteronormative world. Currently, Jordan volunteers at the Damien Center and is an Advocate for Planned Parenthood. And as a Scholar he looks forward to learning and engaging in constructive change with NMAC to better help his community.


Nwizu Ujuonu (no bi0)

Tyvion Roberts (no bi0)




Aron Thiim (he/him/his/él) is a social justice advocate and public health professional dedicated to improving health and fighting stigma. While completing his B.S. in Public & Community Health, he worked at a syringe exchange in Upstate NY providing syringe access and risk reduction services to people who use substances and led community education seminars about HIV/HCV and opioid overdose prevention. After graduation, he worked in Boston at Fenway Health coordinating behavioral science research studies among sexual and gender minority people living with HIV and substance use disorders. He is currently a Program Manager of HIV/STIs and Prevention at The Justice Resource Institute (JRI), where he oversees a clinical team in MetroWest Boston offering HIV/STI/HCV counseling, testing and treatment, PrEP and PEP. His outreach and volunteer experiences include working with individuals experiencing homelessness, people who are incarcerated, people at risk or living with HIV, and people who use substances. Aron plans to pursue a future clinical career in community-oriented primary care.


Lisa Watkins is a dedicated and active HIV/AIDS advocate and activist who currently resides in Memphis, TN. She lives for helping and guiding others to the best of her ability and she also stands to end stigma and improve prevention and awareness for multiple causes. She serves as a member of many Community Advisory Boards and acts as a spearhead member of The Paige (Project of Advancement In Gay’s Efforts) HIV/AIDS Decriminalization sector as well as other organizations highlighting issues related to you such as HIV, suicide, reproductive health and justice and LGBTQ+ health and rights. In the future, she plans to become a counselor for youth and young adults newly diagnosed with HIV. As a self-identified, positive black woman, Watkins dedicates her time and patience to working toward ending the epidemic and raising awareness for all as well as being one of the voices needed to lead and guide youth to be heard and seen while creating space for transitional leadership.


Meet the Youth Initiative Mentors

Farah Jeune is a multimedia Artist from Boston. She uses her creativity to help her peers, elders and ancestors feel empowered, represented and loved in colorful 2D mediums. As an art activist, she creates artwork to bring awareness to taboo issues impacting communities of color such as HIV and mental health. Ms. Jeune also is the creator, host and producer of a monthly television variety show entitled ‘ºFarenheight TV’ which celebrates people’s greatness through interviews, LIVE performances and more. Learn more by visiting


Darriyhan Edmond is a young leader and person living with HIV since the age of 18. He is currently the founder and executive director of Project RED Paint, which is located in Atlanta, GA and serves as an organization providing support, empowerment, and encourage to enhance the lives of people of color living with HIV. Since his diagnosis Darriyhan has dedicated himself to the work and community. He is truly committed to the fight and hopes to see this epidemic end within his time.

Darriyhan has volunteered and worked with many organizations within the work. He has served as a youth mentor for youth within the Youth Initiative and recently worked with THRIVE SS of Atlanta as Linkage to Care Coordinator. After much time working he began his own organization to save more lives and became incorporated in 2018.


Marnina Miller is a Human Rights Activist. Her expertise revolves around HIV advocacy, queer community engagement, language justice, and body positivity. She fell in love with activism after joining Positive Organizing Project a movement that trains people living with HIV on how to become effective HIV activist. This out and proud, Black Queer young woman facilitates trainings on anti-stigmatizing language, effective leadership, sex positivity, and community organizing. At Positive Women’s Network-USA(PWN-USA) she currently serves on the Board of Directors. She is also a graduate of the PWN-USA’s Public Policy Fellowship. Marnina is a youth ambassador for Youth Across Borders where she spends time at Montañade Luz which is an orphanage for children living with HIV in Honduras. She is also the co-chair for the Texans Living with HIV Network, and a recipient of the Violet Award; which recognizes LGBTQ advocates in Houston. At NMAC she is the graduate of the Inaugural Building Young Leaders of Color (BYLOC) leadership training and a youth council facilitator for the Youth Initiative Program. Marnina is also a feature writer for the international online publication Life and Love with HIV where she is dismantling the stigma of women; developing, maintaining, and pursuing a healthy sex life one blog post at a time Marnina has been a board member of The Mahogany Project Inc. since 2020 where she is also a cohost of the In Living Colors Podcast.

Dannielle Blakely is a 26 year old transgender woman living with HIV. She was diagnosed with HIV in 2017. Since her diagnosis, she has become an advocate for those living with HIV in the Topeka, Kansas area.  Dannielle hopes to return to school to finish her Bachelor of Nursing and continue her education in order to become a Nurse Practitioner, specializing in Infectious Disease, specifically in HIV. She enjoys painting, video games, and playing with her dog in her free time.


Kyle Rodriguez (He/Him) is an international HIV advocate and an Hermano (brother) of La Unidad Latina, Lambda Upsilon Lambda, Fraternity Incorporated. He currently attends the University of Connecticut pursuing his Bachelor of Science in Allied Health Sciences with a Concentration in Public Health and Health Promotion and is anticipated to graduate in May 2021. Kyle is extraordinarily involved on campus, serving as a Residential Assistant (RA), Vice President of the Intercultural Greek Council, and the Chief of Staff to the Chapter President of his fraternity.

Kyle brings a wealth of knowledge working in the HIV prevention field on local, national, and international levels all before the age of 25. Locally, Kyle worked at A Place to Nourish your Health (APNH), serving the Greater New Haven community through HIV community outreach and intentional program planning. He also served as the youngest member of Connecticut’s Getting to Zero Commission where he gave evidence-based advice to end the HIV epidemic in Connecticut. He has helped strengthen healthcare delivery systems in rural Honduras and also volunteered at a Honduran HIV orphanage. Kyle is a proud alum of NMAC’s Youth Initiative Program and BYLOC Program and has been involved with NMAC since 2017.


Tapakorn (TA-puh-kawn) (they/them) is a non-binary, 1st-generation Thai-American currently residing in Los Angeles, CA. They currently work as an organizational consultant with CHE (Center for Health Empowerment) with a focus on client navigation. Computer science and all things tech became their passion growing up, along with what they studied in school and moved to San Francisco to do, but something was off. The hugely disproportionate divide between wealth and poverty in SF caused them to seek volunteer opportunities at local nonprofits until they started to fall in love with their weekend gig being an HIV Test Counselor at clubs more than, let’s say their “day job”. Eventually, noticing how disgruntled Tapakorn was from their career, Asian Pacific Islander Wellness Center (now known as San Francisco Community Health Center) offered them a position to start their PrEP program.

From there, Tapakorn has gone on to work at a few HIV-focused nonprofits specializing in client navigation, HIV Prevention, and program implementation, using their previous tech knowledge to modernize, optimize, and synergize today’s medical systems. During this time inside, you can find them cooking far too much food, playing video games for a renewed sense of adventure, and dying their hair whatever color happen to be on sale that month.


Important Happenings in HIV/Health Policy

Important Happenings in
HIV/Health Policy

Week Ending: July 13, 2018
By: Matthew Rose & Sable K. Nelson

Ryan White Funding Clarification
A recent Slate article reported that internal documents from the Office of Refugee Resettlement, an agency within the Administration for Children and Families, which is itself a division of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), indicate that HHS plans to pay for child separation by reallocating money from the Ryan White HIV/AIDS ProgramNMAC has been in direct communication with the HIV/AIDS Bureau (HAB) at the Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA). There are four (4) important pieces to mention:

  1. The funds that are allegedly being transferred are from Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 funds that were returned to HHS after not being spent by eligible Ryan White grantees.
  2. HAB staff was unable to state exactly how much FY 2016 funding was being transferred.
  3. However, it was very clear that those funds do not have any impact on the operation or schedule of Ryan White funding for FY 2018 or can the be used by any current parts of the Ryan White Program.
  4. The HHS Secretary has limited authority (generally referred to as “transfer authority”) to shift funding between accounts and programs when specified by law. That authority is limited to discretionary accounts and no appropriation may decrease its budget by more than one percent.


Appropriations Update
After a marathon 13-hour markup that touched on a range of contentious issues including the Affordable Care Act, abortion, and the Trump administration’s separation of migrant families at the border, members of the House Appropriations Committee voted along party lines (30-22 vote) to approve a $177.1 billion Labor-HHS-Education spending bill for fiscal year 2019. The panel ultimately adopted 18 amendments, with 14 coming from Democrats and another four offered by Republicans. The vote keeps the legislation on track for full House floor consideration, though several of its most controversial provisions would be unlikely to survive once action shifts to the Senate, where the 60-vote threshold requires support from some Democrats. For more information, READ →


CMS Expected to Propose Cuts to More 340B Providers
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is expected to expand the number of 340B health facilities that will be impacted by payment cuts for all physician-administered drugs. The proposed rule would slash Medicare Part B drug payments to 340B hospital outpatient facilities offsite by nearly 30 percent. The change is expected in the proposed 2019 Physician Fee Schedule Rule, which could be released as early as Thursday of next week. It would impact hospitals that qualify for the 340B program’s steep drug discounts because they serve a disproportionate share of low-income and under-insured patients. The Trump administration has cited the 2018 change in payment to 340B facilities as a move to lower drug costs. It estimated Medicare beneficiaries would save about $320 million on drug co-payments in 2018 because patients’ out-of-pocket costs are tied to what Medicare is billed for the drugs. The administration maintained that the lower reimbursement rate is closer to what hospitals pay for the drugs. Hospitals in the program say 340B was specifically intended to pay more because of the challenges of the populations they serve. For more information, READ →

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 to 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. 

Also, MAKE SURE THAT YOU ARE REGISTERED TO VOTE in time for the primary and general elections happening this year!

Minnesota 7/24/2018
Wisconsin 7/25/2018

For more information, VISIT→


For more information, VISIT→


Opportunities for Input: Let Your Voice be Heard

Leading up to the US Conference on AIDS (USCA) in September, Act Now: End AIDS will solicit community input to inform the creation of an federal plan to end the epidemic. It’s important that we hear from affected communities from around the country in four primary ways:

  1. An online recommendation form at . SUBMISSIONS DUE BY AUGUST 10TH.
  2. Online webinars covering key recommendation topics ( prevention and testing, care and treatment, structural interventions, research, viral hepatitis, sexually transmitted infections, opioids and the overdose epidemic, data and metrics.
  3. Web-based meetings and conference calls led by and soliciting input from specific affected communities
  4. An in person pre-USCA meeting to discuss an early draft of the plan to be held on September 5th in Orlando, FL

We invite you to use any and all of these options to provide recommendations for the plan. The online form may be used for as many recommendations as you want to submit. While individuals are absolutely invited to submit online recommendation forms, we also encourage submissions from groups.

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 will continue to meet with the administration around priority areas of people of color, pushing for greater access to coverage and making them aware of the challenges affecting people of color
  • NMAC is coordinating three of the ending the epidemic stakeholder calls for older adults, Native Americans, and Asian Pacific islanders.

INPUT REQUESTED: A National Community-Led Plan to End HIV/AIDS as an Epidemic

Since 2014, several U.S. cities, counties, and states have announced Ending the Epidemic (EtE) plans. What makes these initiatives unique– in addition to their ambition– is that they are driven by community leaders, including people living with HIV. In the spirit of the Denver Principles, these plans should be by and for those communities directly impacted by the epidemic.

Recently, the Trump administration has announced that it will be drafting its own national EtE plan by mid 2019. This obviously raises many concerns. First and foremost, can the drafting of such a plan possibly truly be led by the communities disproportionately impacted by the epidemic, when these very communities are facing direct attacks by the current administration?

In order to preserve the community-led spirit of EtE work, Act Now End AIDS (ANEA) – a national coalition of EtE leaders – intends to draft a community-led national plan. We will engage in a broad, multi-tiered process to collect as much information from impacted communities around the country as possible in order to accurately reflect what we need to end the HIV epidemic for all of us.

But for this process to work, WE WILL NEED YOUR HELP!

Below you will find more detailed instructions on how you, your organization, or your coalition can submit recommendations to be part of the national plan. Here are four main ways to provide input:

  1. An online recommendation form SUBMISSIONS DUE BY AUGUST 10TH.
  2. Online webinars covering key recommendation topics (prevention and testing, care and treatment, structural interventions, research, viral hepatitis, sexually transmitted infections, opioids and the overdose epidemic, data and metrics)
  3. Web-based discussions and conference calls led by and soliciting input from specific affected communities
  4. An in person pre-USCA meeting to discuss an early draft of the plan to be held on September 5th in Orlando, FL

***If conference calls or web-based opportunities to provide input do not work for you or if you do not have access to these methods of providing input, please contact Alex Smith, Senior Policy Manager for AIDS United, by email at ( by phone at (202) 876-2840 to make arrangements for providing input.

We invite you to use any and all of these options to provide recommendations for the plan. The online form may be used for as many recommendations as you want to submit. While individuals are absolutely invited to submit online recommendation forms, we also encourage submissions from groups.

Web-based discussions and conference calls will be announced over the month of July. We invite you to sign up for the ANEA  listserv at!forum/act-now-end-aids-distribution/join in order to keep up to date. We will also be providing more information on the in person gathering in Orlando.

We look forward to hearing from communities impacted by HIV from all around the country over the next few months as we engage in this ambitious national planning process. If you have any questions or concerns at all, please Together, we can ensure that community leads the way toward the end of the HIV epidemic.


Summary of the Learning Collaborative

Between June 24-27, 2018 NMAC’s Treatment Division hosted a Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) Learning Collaborative. This meeting was part of the culminating activity for our PrEP Education and Awareness Program. At the PrEP Learning Collaborative, nearly 20 leaders from communities of color, primarily representing southern and/or rural jurisdictions across the United States, met in Washington DC to discuss the story behind the racial and ethnic disparities that exist as it relates to PrEP uptake. This conversation took place at the intersection of identities (race, ethnicity, gender, and sexual identity) and socio-structural factors that influence where people play, work, and sleep. Stakeholders from various perspectives of the PrEP cascade (individuals who have been prescribed PrEP, PrEP Navigators, PrEP providers, community based organizations, health departments as well as AIDS Education and Training Centers) shared their perspective and expertise to collaboratively develop a framework to mitigate cost, service and access issues which vary at the local, state and federal level. In order to address these issues, clear and concise policies must be developed and implemented to allow to provide guidance and set long-term standards that will increase use of PrEP (a proven life-saving solution). Specifically, with the rise of HIV diagnoses among gay men of color, it is crucial to educate not only young Black and Latino MSM but also health navigators and service providers. They must learn about policies that facilitate access to PrEP, related services, cost, and access points. As a result of this Learning Collaborative, NMAC shall release a practice-based resource, in the form of a book, guide, or manual for community leaders and clinical providers on how to increase the use of PrEP among people of color at our 2018 Biomedical HIV Prevention Summit in Los Angeles, CA.

NMAC Recognizes National HIV Testing Day

National HIV Testing Day Statement

Today (June 27) marked National HIV Testing Day! I encourage our NMAC Community to use what this day means by holding ourselves and our loved ones accountable. Each of us should be committed to making sure that we know our status (AND that those we care about know their status).

According to the CDC, an estimated 1,122,900 adults and adolescents were living with HIV at the end of 2015 in the United States. Of those, 162,500 (15 percent) were not aware of their status. While this is a relative decrease, population specific disparities exist. For example, being unaware of one’s status is particularly prevalent in youth. According to the CDC, among people aged 13-24 with HIV, an estimated 51 percent didn’t know their status when they tested positive. Since communities of color, especially in the south, are disproportionately impacted by HIV, it is imperative that we harness our collective power to change this narrative.

Right now, we have the behavioral and biomedical tools to prevent HIV. Knowing your status is the first step in ending the epidemic. From there, the goal is two-fold: (1) in the event that an individual tests positive, we must link those individuals to care and set them on the path to treatment adherence and/or viral suppression; and (2) in the event that an individual tests negative, we should educate that person about pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). This week, Representative Barbara Watson Coleman (NJ-12) introduced a resolution written in consultation with NMAC and several national HIV and STD partners which encourages the U.S. House of Representatives to support increasing PrEP awareness and education in an attempt to reduce the number of seroconversions in the United States.

As an organization, NMAC is committed to doing all we can to end the HIV epidemic in the near future. In addition to my professional advocacy, I’m personally committed to #DoingItMyWay. At my well women’s exam earlier this month, I intentionally requested an HIV test. Both after taking the test and receiving the results, I also encouraged my partner, several of my sorority sisters, and cousins to empower themselves by doing the same. Can I count on you to get yourself or someone you care about tested for HIV today? For more information about where to get an HIV test near you, visit:

Yours in the Struggle,

Sable K. Nelson
Policy Analyst

Statement from HIV, STD & Hepatitis Policy Partnership on Meeting with CDC Director Robert Redfield


Statement from HIV, STD & Hepatitis Policy Partnership on Meeting with CDC Director Robert Redfield


Washington, D.C. – Last week, the executive directors of the National HIV, STD & Hepatitis Policy Partnership met with Robert Redfield, M.D., the new director of the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC). During our very encouraging meeting, the partnership advanced a series of requests and had a productive discussion about ending the HIV epidemic and the intersecting epidemics of STDs, viral hepatitis and opioid misuse. Dr. Redfield committed to an ongoing collaboration and a process that would seek broad community input around any newly developed strategies to end these epidemics. We look forward to working with Dr. Redfield and his team as well as other relevant federal agencies and the community in realizing these goals.

The executive directors of the National H,I,V, S,T,D & Hepatitis Policy Partnership with Robert Redfield, M.D., the new director of the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC)
(L to R: Mitch Wolfe, Acting Director, CDC Washington Office; Paul Kawata, Executive Director, NMAC; Murray Penner, Executive Director, NASTAD; David Harvey, Executive Director, NCSD; Dr. Robert Redfield, Director, CDC; Jesse Milan, Jr., President & CEO, AIDS United; Michael Ruppal, Executive Director, The AIDS Institute; Jonathan Mermin, Director, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention (NCHHSTP))




Transgender Community & HIV

Important Happenings in HIV/Health Policy

Important Happenings in HIV/Health Policy

Week Ending: June 15, 2018
By: Matthew Rose & Sable K. Nelson

House Marking Up Federal Fiscal Year 2019 Appropriations Bill

On Friday, June 15, 2018 the Labor, Health and Human Services (Labor-HHS) Subcommittee of the U.S. House Appropriation Committee marked up its Federal Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19) Appropriations bills. Passing along party lines, the House’s Labor HHS spending bill would increase HHS’s budget by $1 billion for FY19. “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:

Here are the funding levels proposed by the House Labor-HHS Subcommittee for key HIV/AIDS programs:

The Senate version of the Labor-HHS spending bill set top-line spending $2 billion higher than the House version. It is unknown at this time how those funds will be allocated for each of the Senate Labor-HHS spending bill will be marked up in the upcoming days/weeks.


NEXT STEPS: In the coming weeks, tentatively scheduled for June 26, the full House Appropriations Committee is expected to mark up the Labor-HHS bill. It is likely that several Representatives will propose amendments targeting federal funding for programs impacting minority health, rural health, Title X family planning, operation of supervised consumption facilities, and programs affiliated with the Affordable Care Act that the current spending bill proposes reducing or eliminating.


CDC Releases its 2017 YRBS Data

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released its latest data from its Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS). The YRSSS monitors six categories of health-related behaviors that contribute to the leading causes of death and disability among youth and adults, including:

  • Behaviors that contribute to unintentional injuries and violence
  • Sexual behaviors related to unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV infection
  • Alcohol and other drug use
  • Tobacco use
  • Unhealthy dietary behaviors
  • Inadequate physical activity

Below is a table that summarizes the “Progress At-A-Glance for Sexual Behavior Variables:”

For more information, READ →;


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.


Also, MAKE SURE THAT YOU ARE REGISTERED TO VOTE in time for the primary and general elections happening this year!

For more information, VISIT→



For more information, VISIT→

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 meet with hill staff to support amendments that are favorable for our programs.
  • NMAC is also working with lawmakers to address PrEP access and HIV in the military in a new partnership.

Why You Need to Attend USCA!

This year’s United States Conference on AIDS is very important because the federal government will discuss its plan to end the HIV epidemic in America during a USCA plenary, then hold a town hall to collect feedback from attendees. Everyone needs to come prepared to share their thoughts on what it will take to make this happen.

Biomedical HIV prevention has given us real pathways to end the epidemic. U=U, PrEP, PEP, and TasP have made it possible to consider the end. However, it can’t happen without a plan.

While NMAC is encouraged by this development, we are also very concerned about working with this administration. Can we put aside our differences and work together? NMAC hopes the value of planning to end an epidemic that disproportionately impacts communities of color greatly outweighs the difficult politics. This will be a true test of our leadership and there are no guarantees.

There are many communities and organizations who want and need to be part of the process. NMAC supports and encourages multiple efforts. We are particularly excited about our work with the Coalition to End AIDS. Working collaboratively on a document from AIDS United, we will bring a consensus statement to USCA.

Let’s encourage the feds to create a real plan, not some bullshit paper that sits on a shelf. What have we learned over the last 37 years? HIV sits at the intersection of oppression, discrimination, and stigma. When the world turned its back on us, we did not wait to be saved; we saved ourselves and the people we loved. For many years we suffered unimaginable pain as we buried more people than we remember. Now we have the opportunity to build the plan to end the epidemic. What should the plan say about us? While the federal government will have its own process, NMAC calls on them to make community a full and equal partner. The new strategy needs input from the many sectors and communities highly impacted by HIV.

What innovations can we bring along with our efforts to end the HIV epidemic? For example, every time there is an HIV test, let’s also test for STDsand Hepatitis. These sexually transmitted infectious diseases are drivers for each other. Working to reduce any of these infections supports our overall efforts to end the HIV epidemic.

This process has the potential to implode. Community needs to monitor and work directly with multiple federal agencies. The specific agency plans are probably more important than the overall federal plan. HRSA, CDC, HUD, SAMHSA, NIH, NIAID, OAR, and other federal departments need to be accountable to community. We must be at the table as these plans are built, implemented, and reviewed.

The 2018 USCA is all about putting together the federal plan to end the HIV epidemic in America. If you want to be part of this process, then you need to attend the meeting. Just because we ask to be part of the process does not mean we support the final plan. Our support is not guaranteed. It depends on the plan’s level of community engagement, real biomedical HIV prevention initiatives that speak to the realities of the communities highly impacted by HIV, and funding to make it happen. If it’s a good plan, then the 2019 United States Conference on AIDS and the 2019 Biomedical HIV Prevention Summit will focus on its implementation. This is a multi-year effort that needs your engagement from the beginning. See you in Orlando!