Early Program Highlights from the Leadership Pipeline

Building Leaders of Color (BLOC) National Leadership Training Project

The BLOC Regional Trainings will be hosted January – March 2018 in Atlanta, GA, Linthicum Heights, Maryland and Phoenix, AZ (The application process is closed and announcement letters will go out in January 2018). The program will train 60-70 new HIV-positive leaders through a seven-month training program to include a three-day training in person, monthly webinars, conference calls, and mentorship. The BLOC program will train this new group of leaders to increase the number of Persons of Color Living with HIV who are prepared to engage in leadership roles and activities related to HIV service delivery. The new BLOC leaders will identify opportunities to actively engage and participate meaningfully in decision making bodies and planning boards in their local community to improve health outcomes for people living with HIV.

It’s back: BLOC TOT- NMAC, the National “Building Leaders of Color (BLOC) Training of Trainers (TOT) Training Institute May 2018. The TOT builds on the National and Regional Trainings and partners Ryan White Part A & B grantees with a local partner of color living with HIV. The teams train on the BLOC program curricula so they can return to their local communities and train People of Color Living with HIV.  Each team will conduct three local/regional trainings over the period of seven months. The 2018 applications will be launched in March 2018.

The Youth Initiative is sponsored by NMAC in collaboration with ViiV HealthcareMagic Johnson Foundation, and Advocates for Youth. In 2018, the Youth Initiative Scholars will engage in numerous community and national opportunities to bring awareness to needs of youth impacted by HIV. The Youth will engage in activities for HIV Youth Awareness Day (April 10) and National HIV Testing Day (June 27). NMAC will launch applications in March 2018 for a new cadre of Youth Scholars to join the Youth Initiative to take action to end HIV/AIDS in their communities via educational training, professional development, and networking opportunities. Scholars will also will attend an in-person training institute during the US Conference on AIDS (USCA) September 6-9 in Orlando, FL.

In late February 2018 NMAC will launch Youth- Building Leaders of Color (Y-BLOC) National Leadership Training. Y-BLOC, a specially designed BLOC training targeted to engage youth of color living with HIV ages 18-24. The program will identify 20-25 youth of color living with HIV to engage and train Youth on leadership development, community engagement, how to effectively participate on planning bodies, medical and support care teams, boards of directors, and other efforts to address the goals of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy. Additional program descriptions and requirements will be available with the application launch.

The Leadership Café -Webinar mini- series: The Leadership Pipeline will host a summer series of webinars created by you. In Spring 2018, we will launch a request of topics to build PLWH capacity of PLWH leadership development, opportunities of engagement, and the HIV movement. The series will invite key leaders from the movement to partner with to bring you the most tools and expertise needed to advance our fight to end HIV.


Make the NMAC Connection!

You’ve probably noticed that our newsletter is now very different from what we’ve done in the past. We felt it was time to give our newsletter a complete overhaul to give you more and better information about what’s going on here.

Going forward, we’re planning to limit our newsletters to once-a-week issues with about three stories in each. While the newsletter will give you the opening, you’ll have to visit our website to get the full story!

Now, we still will have standalone newsletters as needed for events, special announcements, or urgent calls to action. We’ll try to keep those to a minimum but there will be some of them this year.

Finally, we want our newsletters to be more educational than promotional of NMAC. We’re recruiting presenters and speakers from USCA and the Biomedical Summit to contribute pieces on their work to give you more information about the epidemic and how we can better combat it.

We want to make sure that our newsletters fit our mission to not only fight HIV but to combat racism and inequality that help to fuel the epidemic. And we hope that the “NMAC Connection” will become a useful educational tool for you.

If you haven’t signed up already, please do so now!

We look forward to keeping you informed in 2018!


CDC’s Seven Banned Words

Nation’s Leading HIV/AIDS Organizations Condemn Efforts to Ban Words at CDC, Erase Transgender and Diversity

Washington, DC — Five of the nation’s leading organizations focused on ending the HIV and STD epidemics in the United States – AIDS United, NASTAD, the National Coalition of STD Directors, NMACand The AIDS Institute – expressed alarm over reports that the Trump Administration barred staff at the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) from using certain words in its FY2019 budget justification to Congress.

While we continue to be in contact with the Administration, CDC, and other agencies regarding these reports, restrictions on these terms, in any manner, demonstrate this Administration’s troubling lack of commitment to science and we are seeking further clarification. Thanks to bipartisan support in Congress and the Executive Branch we have made incredible progress against HIV over the last decade. But budget proposals delineate policy priorities, and in rejecting science and evidence along with other commonly understood health language, this Administration calls into question its commitment to science and the health of all communities, including racial, ethnic, and sexual minorities.

Discouraging use and reference to “evidence-based” or “science-based,” is concerning enough. However, any attempt to remove “transgender” and “diversity” from CDC vocabulary would represent an outright dereliction of the stated duties of the agency. Such efforts are unacceptable and cannot go unanswered. Transgender people and people of color live under constant threat of systemic and specific discrimination and violence. Erasing them from official CDC documents ensures ongoing discrimination and undermines the ability of CDC to effectively respond to their health needs.

Evidence suggests the transgender community is particularly vulnerable to HIV and STDs. As citizens and residents of this nation, they should be treated with fairness and respect. As human beings, they are entitled to dignity and affirming care. AIDS United, NASTAD, NCSD, NMAC, and The AIDS Institute remain committed to ensuring that diversity is celebrated by our public health system and that its work is rooted in science, not politics. We stand with transgender staff, constituents, clients, and family, and will not relent in our demands that their health and the health of all marginalized and minority communities be prioritized by this Administration and the U.S. government.

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. 

NMAC Announces National HIV And PrEP Navigation Landscape Assessment

NMAC Announces National HIV And PrEP Navigation Landscape Assessment

“Ending AIDS must be more than a slogan. It requires real plans, community mobilization, funding, and collaboration between the communities highly impacted by HIV. It is essential that community based organizations, health departments, healthcare providers, researchers, industry, people living with HIV, activists, feds, and people on PrEP have access to critical information about best practices […]

NMAC Announces Aging Mini-Grant Awardees!


Today, NMAC is honored to announce the recipients of the 2017 HIV 50+ Strong & Healthy Mini-Grant Program. The mini grant program allows our 2017 USCA HIV 50+ scholars to get involved in their community by developing and implementing a project to educate and engage HIV 50+ community members who need to connect with other peers. The grantees are affiliated with an organization that will act as the fiscal sponsor for the grant. NMAC understands that our movement needs leaders who are living with the virus. Our HIV 50+ scholars have important lessons to share with our HIV community.

Fourteen applications were awarded up to $2,500 in the categories of community education, community outreach, and community engagement.  The grantees and the projects are:

  1. Robert Riester, Aurora CO, “From the Past by Our Future” a storyteller videos project.
  2. Dean Edward, Columbia, SC, “Engage to Lead” a project of engagement of HIV 50 Men.
  3. Nancy Shearer, Santa Monica, CA, “Positive Singles Mixer” a project to empower people living with HIV to expand their social networks, reducing feelings of stigma and isolation.
  4. Michael G. Smith, Santa Fe, NM, “Phoenix Rising 2.0” a project to enhance and encourage financial stability.
  5. Erik Jannke, Palm Spring, CA, “Manual on HIV & Aging” an explanatory manual on HIV & Aging.
  6. Cynthia Marker, Lakeside, CA, “Fellow Advocate Mentorship (FAM)” a project to increase health literacy, self-efficacy, and social support networks among women living with HIV who are 50+.
  7. Randal Lucero, Albuquerque, NM, “50 + Healthy and Strong Summit” a project to bring community leaders, 50 + individuals living with HIV and their allies together to improve the lives of older adults living with HIV.
  8. Lilibeth Gonzalez, New York, NY, “Thriving at 50 and Beyond” a full-day community education event for 50 HIV-positive people aged 50 or older.
  9. Teresa Sullivan, Philadelphia, PA, “Sister to Sister: Women of Color Long Term – Survivors Building Our Voices of Resilience” a project to provide interactive educational sessions, on health and wellness to Women of color over fifty years old and living with HIV and end self- isolation.
  10. Rob Quinn, Boston, MA, ““Healthy Aging with HIV Community Wellness Day” a one-day weekend event targeting holistic health services, resources, and education for PLWH 50+ and Long-Term Survivor.
  11. Bryan Jones, Cleveland, OH, “Building leader for tomorrow among people of color” a project to instill purpose in those over 50 to empower those under 35 who are not engaged in planning bodies or decision-making opportunities.
  12. Jesus Guillen, San Francisco, CA, “The Chronicles of the Phoenix” a project to educate, engage and entertain.
  13. Jennifer Chang, Los Angeles, CA, “Puppy Love” a communal meet-and-greet, and dog-walking event for 50+ survivors of HIV/AIDS who are otherwise socially isolated.
  14. Esther Ross, Greenville, NC,” ‘Leaders Advocating and Mentoring other leaders for Personal growth and Support (LAMPS)” a project to educate persons of Color living with HIV over the age of 50 to mentor, train and support one other peer.

NMAC is very excited to be able to fund these projects and look forward to a fruitful collaboration. Successful projects will be showcased at the 2018 USCA. NMAC wants to thank Gilead for their support of these mini-grants. We can change the world and end the epidemic as we support and build community in the over 50-year-old people living with HIV.

Yours in the Struggle,

Moisés Agosto-Rosario
(202) 836-3669
Director of Treatment

Nation’s HIV Leaders Raise Alarm Over Lack of HIV, STD Mention in HHS Strategic Plan

Nation’s HIV Leaders Raise Alarm Over Lack of HIV, STD Mention in HHS Strategic Plan

Washington, DC – Five of the nation’s leading organizations focused on ending the HIV and STD epidemics in the United States have collectively expressed their grave concern with the lack of focus on HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Strategic Plan, FY2018-2022. Despite the crucial importance of the intersectional issues of HIV and STDs, including hepatitis, to our nation’s public health, the report is relatively silent on these issues.  The document contains no mention of other STDs, mentions HIV only twice and hepatitis just once.

This lack of specificity regarding these diseases is of paramount concern, as is the failure to reference even once, the unique health needs of America’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender populations, who bear the greatest burden of the nation’s HIV and STD epidemics.  The report only barely mentions the health needs and disparities facing racial and ethnic minorities.  At the same time, the Plan seems to prioritize faith-based approaches that have the potential to lead to discrimination against religious and sexual minorities.

In comments submitted to HHS, AIDS United, NASTAD, the National Coalition of STD Directors, NMAC, and The AIDS Institute urged the Trump administration to adjust its approach. At a time when STD rates have increased to their highest levels ever and four out of every 10 people living with HIV are not engaged in care, we should be refocusing our national resources on addressing these challenges, not turning our attention away from them. The HHS Strategic Plan is an opportunity to not only reinforce the national goals and priorities of the United States, but it is an opportunity for the United States to effectively plan to end the HIV epidemic and to address the worsening trends in STDs.  Unfortunately, the latest version fails to accomplish either goal.

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.

Reaction to President’s Opioid Emergency


Leading HIV and STD organizations in the United States are both alarmed by the nation’s growing opioid epidemic and determined to do everything in our power to end it. Thus, we have watched with great interest as President Trump has directed his Secretary of Health and Human Services to declare our nation’s growing opioid epidemic a Public Health Emergency. While we agree that there is a need for a coordinated high-level response to the opioid epidemic, we do not believe that the President’s declaration meets that need.

In addition, our organizations strongly oppose efforts under the Public Health Emergency Declaration to redirect funding from HIV/AIDS programs. By ordering a Public Health Emergency Declaration rather than a Declaration of Emergency, the Administration essentially ensured that agencies and organizations would have to rely on funding that has been repurposed rather than making new funds available.

Instead, this Public Health Emergency Declaration should include specific actions designed to address the infectious disease-related aspects of the epidemic –namely, the rising cases of HIV, other STDs, and hepatitis C related to injection drug use. The opioid epidemic is a public health crisis that affects all Americans and all aspects of American life. But because injection drug use can be a means of HIV transmission, addressing it is particularly critical in the fight against HIV, other STDs and hepatitis C. We witnessed the stark consequences of failing to take action in 2015, when injection drug use was the primary factor in the Scott County, Indiana HIV and hepatitis C outbreak, which resulted in more than 200 people becoming infected with HIV and over 400 hepatitis C infections.

Our organizations call on the president to submit an emergency supplemental appropriations request to grant additional funds to local health departments and community-based organizations, which are disproportionately bearing the burden of both the opioid, HIV and hepatitis C epidemics. 

Secondly, additional syringe services programs must be created to simultaneously address overdose deaths and HIV and hepatitis C transmission related to the opioid epidemic. Ninety-three percent of counties vulnerable to HIV infectious outbreaks, as identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, do not have a syringe service program. It is estimated that in 2014 alone, lack of access to syringe services programs lead to the majority of the over 30,500 new hepatitis C infections and over 3,850 new diagnoses of HIV in the United States.

Additionally, we call for additional funding in order to purchase naloxone for police departments, substance use treatment programs, syringe service programs, and other programs that serve injection drug users. There are widespread reports of jurisdictions and programs having to ration naloxone.

Public health officials and criminal justice advocates agree that we must break from traditional approaches that would treat the opioid epidemic solely as a criminal justice issue or an issue of morality. Therefore, wecall upon the Administration to ensure that funds are not used for these responses. We reject any response that may increase incarceration or perpetuate stigma.

Because of its devastating effects on the fight to end the HIV epidemic and on Americans in general, the opioid crisis must be addressed with a public health and harm reduction approach to protect Americans’ lives and their wellbeing.

It is vital that the Trump Administration establish new funding rather than transferring funds that are already being used to address both public health issues effectively. Agency directors within the Trump Administration should utilize the resources and evidence at their disposal to address the opioid crisis to the fullest extent possible. Our organizations stand in solidarity with all working to end the opioid epidemic and believe that taking strong public health approaches will allow Americans to fully address this public health crisis and also bring us closer to ending the HIV epidemic in the United States.

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.

One Week Left to Register for the 2017 Biomedical HIV Prevention Summit!

We are less than 2 months away from our 2017 Biomedical HIV Prevention Summit. If this year’s USCA was any indication, we know our movement is eager to come together and continue doing the work to end the epidemic. The Summit will highlight the innovations and achievements in biomedical and behavioral sciences in order to engage our movement about the best practices and lessons learned that will ultimately lead to success. We want you to be a part of this intimate and necessary event. Register by November 3 so you can reserve your place for this year’s Biomedical HIV Prevention Summit. Last year was the first time that NMAC had to cut off registration for one of our conferences due to capacity and we expect to do the same this year! As part of this low registration fee of $275 you will receive access to 4 plenary sessions, participation in over 30 workshops, engagement in an intimate exhibit hall, and receive breakfast and lunch each day.

A central goal of this year’s Summit will improve on the successes of last year’s meeting by broadening the focus from just PrEP to include biomedical prevention options. It’s time to think about the expanded integrated role that PrEP, PEP, and Treatment as Prevention (TasP) has in building pathways to ending the epidemic.  Workshops on building comprehensive HIV plans, PrEP in the South, TasP and the Undetectable = Untransmittable movement are just a few of the topics that will be covered. Check out the Summit program and Listing of Workshops online here.

The Summit is a unique meeting that is very different from USCA.  We are keeping those aspects that worked well during the Summit’s first year.  Plenary sessions will continue to be intimate conversations with the audience and will allow for interactive audience dialogue with the panel presenters at the end of the session.  This year we’ve added a small exhibit hall with seating to facilitate important conversations and information sharing.

Stay tuned for information on the conference app launch. The official Summit hashtag is #2017HIVSummit.
We sincerely thank this year’s Summit sponsors for making the meeting possible.


Presenting Sponsor

NMAC Celebrates LGBT History Month

NMAC Celebrates LGBT History Month

I’ve always been a history buff – so much of one that I got my degree in it. So, one of the first things I did when I came out was to learn more about LGBTQ history. And, now, 25 years later, I’m still learning about people, places, and events that are a critical part […]

HIV and STD Organizations Denounce Trump Administration’s Actions to Degrade the Affordable Care Act

HIV and STD Organizations Denounce Trump Administration’s Actions to Degrade the Affordable Care Act

Following repeated legislative defeats to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), President Trump is taking steps to further sabotage the ACA.  This includes ending cost sharing reduction (CSR) payments to issuers and issuing an executive order that would destabilize the health care marketplace and erode patient protections.

Both actions would have devastating effects on people living with or at risk of HIV and STDs.  Ending the $7 billion in CSR payments would serve to increase premiums and force the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program to bear a greater share of insurance costs.  It would drive insurance companies out of the state health care marketplaces and in turn, put the marketplaces out of business.

In addition to this action, President Trump signed an executive order that directs federal agencies to expand association health plans and short-term limited insurance.  Such plans would not have to meet “essential health benefits,” virtually ensuring they will be useless for people with pre-existing conditions, including people living with HIV and STDs.  The executive order creates the opportunity for younger and healthier people to exit the more regulated marketplaces and destabilize the entire insurance market

We urge the courts to end the illegal action to halt payment of the CSRs. We also call on Congress to quickly approve bipartisan legislation to stabilize the marketplace and extend CSR payments. People living with HIV and other STDs, particularly people of color, often face multiple barriers to accessing the care and treatment they need to stay healthy. The President’s actions would only strengthen these barriers, making it even more difficult for these communities most impacted by HIV to receive the care they need.

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.