How Are You Doing?

Last Friday was tough, another in a long list of difficult days in 2020. How are you doing? There are times when all of it feels overwhelming and I worry about our future. I never met Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, but I know my life is better because she was here. She fought for everyone to be full and equal citizens, regardless of our gender, gender identity, race, HIV status, or who we loved. Remember her legacy and continue the fight for equality.

Over 5,000 people have registered for the 2020 United States Conference on HIV/AIDS. This year’s meeting will have four plenaries, 85 workshops & institutes, an exhibit hall, and a jobs fair. NMAC made it free because we understand that too many are hurting right now. Here are some upcoming deadlines:

Webinar with Congresswomen Barbara Lee
Thursday, September 24th at 1:00 PM (Eastern)
Register Here
NMAC is pleased to have Congresswomen Barbara Lee as our webinar guest on Sep 24th. She will be interviewed by Joe Huang-Racalto, NMAC’s Director of Government Relations. Join us and ask a question.

 

Bridging the Digital Divide
Deadline this Friday, September 25th
Submit Here
Thanks to our sponsors at Gilead, NMAC will give iPads and internet access to 100 constituents. We need your help to identify people living with HIV, staff working on the front lines, and people on PrEP who could most benefit from this equipment. People awarded iPads are expected to participate in all three days of USCHA. One hundred percent of the funding from Gilead will be used on purchasing and shipping equipment.

Photo or Video for USCHA
Deadline Friday, September 25th
Upload Photo Here
Upload Video Here
Be a part of our USCHA Family Reunion 2 by submitting photos and/or videos that will be featured in our “Unity Quilt.” This tapestry will feature the faces of our family across the country. As NMAC leads with race, we are asking that you to hold high one fist in the air in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. You can find the specs for photos and video on our blog.

How to Get A Federal Job
Thursday, October 1st at 1:00 PM (Eastern)
Register Here
Dr. Laura Cheever and staff from HRSA/HAB will discuss the process to get a federal job. NMAC is working to educate the communities hardest hit by HIV on how to apply for HIV positions at various federal agencies. The federal HIV workforce should reflect the communities that the Ending the HIV Epidemic efforts hope to reach.

Introduction to the USCHA Conference Platform
Thursday, Oct 15th at 1:00 PM (Eastern)
Register Here
NMAC staff will demonstrate the conference platform in advance of the 2020 meeting. To help attendees get the most out of this year’s meeting, we wanted to train about the technology in advance of the meeting.

2020 Virtual USCHA
Oct 19-21
Register Here
While USCHA is free, you must register in advance. Please be sure to attend the webinar on the conference platform. Virtual meetings are new for most of us and it helps to be trained on the technology prior to using it.

Everything can feel overwhelming and confusing. It’s hard to know what matters. During these difficult times, remember your HIV family is here to support and help. There is no shame is asking for help.

 

Yours in the struggle,


Paul Kawata  with Salt ‘N Pepa circa 1994

Be A Part of USCHA 2020 – Send A Photo or Video!

As a partner and friend of NMAC, you are invited to be a part of our USCHA Family Reunion 2 by submitting photos and/or videos that will be featured in our “Unity Quilt.” This tapestry will feature the faces of you, our family, across the nation. As NMAC leads with race, we are asking that you have your staff, friends, and family hold high one fist in the air in solidarity with the BLM movement – one of our current public health crises.

The deadline for photos is 5:00 PM on Friday September 25, 2020.

We need your photos! 

Submitting a photo is simple:

  • Dress in a way that speaks to your personality, purpose, or passion (suggestions include wearing your organizations swag, cultural clothes, or whatever fits your personality!)
  • Take a Photo on your cell phone with your Left Fist raised high (selfies welcome)!
  • Upload the photo to this site: Photo Upload

 


We also have a few options for video submissions if you’re looking for more exposure for you or your organization or if you just happen to know of some particularly talented people who support the vision of NMAC.

To Submit a Video:

Organization Check-In

Along with your organization’s photos, we are looking for organizations to talk to us about Racism as a Public Health Crisis generally and/or the Black Lives Matter movement specifically. Stories about your constituents, challenges overcome within your organization, and deep confessions from your heart are welcome. We’d like to hear from you!

Submitting a video is simple:

  • Record your performance (the piece should be one minute long; review and adhere to the Video Specifications below)
  • End your piece with your left fist raised high!
  • Upload your video to this site: Video Upload

The deadline for all videos is 5:00 PM on Friday September 25, 2020.

Creativity and Talent Showcase 

We are also looking for our more talented family to provide artistic performances to be featured in our opening and closing plenaries. Spoken word, performance art, musical displays, and all types of creativity are welcome.

Submitting a video is simple:

  • Record your performance (the piece should be one minute long; review and adhere to the Video Specifications below)
  • End your piece with your left fist raised high!
  • Upload your video to this site: Video Upload

The deadline for all videos is 5:00 PM on Friday September 25, 2020.

Produced Package

We know that our family across the country has taken time in the past year to create their own promotional and creative pieces to share their message within their community. We’d like to use this opportunity to further expand your reach. If you have a produced video that is shorter  than four minutes, please consider submitting to us to be used in our plenaries to highlight your message. This is for non-profit community organizations only.

Submitting a produced video is simple:

Upload your three minute or less video to this site: Video Upload

The deadline for all videos is 5:00 PM on Friday September 25, 2020.

Submission of a photo or a video does not guarantee usage.

VIDEO SPECIFICATIONS:

Orientation: Landscape

Dimensions: 1920×1080 or 1280×720 HD (recommended)

Video Format: Quicktime MOV or MP4

No files over 1.8 GB

Addressing the Digital Divide – Deadline September 25

COVID has magnified the digital divide in America and NMAC wants to help. Thanks to our sponsor Gilead, NMAC is giving away 100 Apple iPads and Verizon internet hotspots with three months of internet access. While this year’s United States Conference on HIV/AIDS is virtual and free for community, there are many without access to needed technology to participate. This effort prioritizes people without access, especially people living with HIV, people working on the frontlines of the epidemic and people on PrEP to give them access to the virtual USCHA on October 19-21. The application form is here.

There is a very short turn-around time. Online applications are due September 25. Like USCHA scholarships, there will probably be many more applications than iPads. Unfortunately, most people will be turned down. Here are the 2020 priorities:

  • Priority is given to people without access to technology, and
  • NMAC uses a racial justice lens to make decisions.

There is an inherent contradiction of using technology to ask people without access to technology to go online and apply for support. We need your help to identify qualified staff, clients, or other people in the HIV community who need hardware and access to the internet. Can you help them apply? NMAC needs your help to identify people in need.

Submissions will be reviewed by NMAC’s Constituent Advisory Panels. Decisions will be based on need and not an individual’s value to the movement. People who receive iPads are required to attend all three days of USCHA and to fully participate as a member of the community.

Thank you for your help to identify people who could benefit from this program. The hardware will be mailed the week of October 12. A webinar will be held on October 15 to train USCHA attendees on the conference’s platform. Questions should be addressed to Kim Ferrell and not the conference staff. Conference staff is busy working to make this a great meeting. However, it is important to understand that virtual will never fully replace meeting in person. Close to 5,000 people have registered. The 2020 meeting will have four plenaries, 85 workshops and institutes, and our HIV family. During these difficult and challenging times, it is the family reunion I need and miss right now. Thank you Gilead for your support. We will get together again…

Yours in the struggle,

 

 

 

 

 

 

Support the 50+ Program and All of NMAC’s Services

NMAC needs your support now more than ever. In these uncertain times, your donation goes a long way to making sure that our programs are still able to serve our communities.

Your donation supports programs and people like Lillibeth Gonzalez who is part of the HIV 50+ Strong & Healthy community. Here is her story:

“I was diagnosed with HIV almost 30 years ago. And, as a long-term survivor, I deal with issues like isolation and depression.

I joined NMAC in 2012 when I applied to be a 50+ Strong and Healthy scholar and I have been a participant since. They have impacted my life tremendously.

I have learned so much from Mr. Moisés Agosto, Mr. Paul Kawata and our fabulous team members. We share resources  and networks and assist each other at all times, in addition to events, conferences, and meetings.

NMAC has helped me become the creator and facilitator of my group “Thriving at 50 and Beyond HIV” due to a successful one day conference I held. I can say I am now the creator of the group and hold monthly meetings on a zoom platform (via GMHC). I have had great success with the group, as we address social isolation, depression, COVID-19, co-morbidities, and group discussions on our concerns about “Aging and Living with HIV”

As a Team member of NMAC’s HIV 50+ cohort it has been a very fulfilling experience for both the consumers I serve and myself.”

To help support the 50+ Strong & Healthy program and all of NMAC’s programming, please make a donation today.

Yours in the struggle,

The Most Important Election of Our Lives

Democrats and Republicans agree that November is the most important election of our life. The future of America is at stake because the parties have such different visions for our country. I don’t know about you, but the pressure of this election combined with COVID and the push and pull for racial justice has me stressed out and overwhelmed. I feel angry, depressed, confused, or some combination of these emotions. Yet I am one of the lucky ones because I still have a job and a safe place to live. While I don’t want to seem ungrateful, COVID fatigue seems to be winning and that has me scared.

Against the backdrop of the fall election, COVID-19 and massive unemployment, there is a call for racial justice and Black Lives Matter. This is the fight of NMAC’s life and mission. Our long and historic commitment to health equity and racial justice will play itself out starting this fall with employment. To NMAC, employment is racial justice. Our movement has hundreds of millions of dollars in new funding to end the HIV epidemic. This funding should translate into tens of thousands of new jobs. At a time when so many are unemployed, this funding can be a lifeline to communities who are hurting. It becomes an issue of racial justice because NMAC is calling on employers to hire the communities that are most impacted by HIV. Unfortunately, this means communities of color.

It is not enough to put out a statement supporting Black Lives Matter. Now our movement needs to turn that commitment into real jobs and leadership positions. That’s why this year’s United States Conference on HIV/AIDS will have a Jobs Fair and why we made the conference free for community. People are hurting and the conference is free so they can connect with the organizations and health departments that have jobs.

In Washington, September is usually the time when Congress comes back to work out the final details for the upcoming federal budget. This budget is critical to our movement’s ability to provide services for people living with HIV, reduce the transmission of HIV and to end the epidemic by 2030. As with most presidential election years, the 2021 federal budget will probably be a continuing resolution (CR) until after the election.

The pundits have already started the Washington chess game of “what happens if.” Zoom calls between national leaders talking about what happens if President Trump wins reelection. What happens if Joe Biden wins? One of my zoom calls is looking for ideal candidates to fill vacancies in a new administration, another is looking for strategies to deal with administration officials who get another term.

We are probably going to have a virtual inauguration. I’m not sure what that looks like, since it’s never happened. America is so divided that regardless of who wins, there will be protests and governing will be next to impossible. The 2021 inauguration happens as we hit the second peak of COVID-19 combined with the flu where some models have over 300,000 deaths.

The unknown in this calculation is a vaccine. While I am very hopeful, I believe the first iterations of the COVID-19 vaccine will only be partially effective. Is a partially effective vaccine enough to turn around the economic devastation that this virus has caused? Would you be willing to travel with a vaccine that is 50% effective? If not 50%, what is the percentage that would give you confidence and how long will it take to find that vaccine?

All of this is happening while wearing masks and staying six feet from friends and family. Is it any wonder why so many are angry, depressed, and confused and why people are taking to the street to protest? How do you survive? I feel fortunate to be part of the HIV community. We’ve seen loss, suffering, and pain and continued to fight. We’ve experienced stigma, discrimination, and outright hatred and flourished. Our ability to build and create new institutions to address the HIV epidemic is proof of our reliance and power. We are magnificent amazing humans who have survived and thrived in a world that hates us just because of the color of our skin, who we love, our gender or gender identity. Fuck you, COVID-19!

Yours in the struggle,

 

NMAC Launches “ESCALATE” Program to Fight HIV Stigma

NMAC will launch the new “ESCALATE” (Ending Stigma through Collaboration And Lifting All To Empowerment) program. Funded by a cooperative agreement with the Health Resources and Service Administration (HRSA), “ESCALATE” will work to reduce stigma against People Living With HIV at the individual, organizational, and systemic levels.

NMAC logo“ESCALATE” will train participants in the 57 jurisdictions identified in “Ending the HIV Epidemic: A Plan for America (EHE)” to recognize and address HIV stigma with a particular focus on transgender/gender nonconforming individuals, men who have sex with men, and the Black/African-American community. NMAC will work in partnership with NORC, Abt Associates, TRX Development and the University of Chicago.

“Stigma remains a major obstacle to HIV prevention, treatment, and care,” said NMAC Executive Director Paul Kawata. “‘Any plans to end the HIV epidemic, whether national or local, must address that stigma in order to be successful. Using our deep experience in training community leaders, NMAC will use the ESCALATE program to educate communities how to be able to see stigma when it happens and provide tools to address it when it does. It’s a huge task but one that is absolutely necessary.”

“This new HIV stigma reduction programming will help NMAC lay the foundation towards ending the HIV epidemic by year 2030 as outlined in the EHE,” said Charles Shazor, Jr., Associate Program Manager in the NMAC’s Center to End the Epidemics. “HIV stigma is a primary contributor to health gaps and disparities around access to HIV treatment and prevention within communities of color. The ESCALATE partnership will build a newly combined force of national HIV community leaders geared towards HIV stigma elimination in the 57 jurisdictions included in EHE.”

“Stigma is a pressing public health issue. It creates systemic and personal barriers for people living with HIV, which can prevent accessing needed medical care and services that improve health outcomes and overall quality of life,” said Jane E. Fox, Principal Associate, Division of Health and Environment at Abu Associates. “Abt looks forward to teaming with NMAC and others on this timely and pivotal initiative.”

“The University of Chicago is excited to lead the implementation science advisory team that will work to support, strengthen, and sustain stigma-reduction efforts in the various jurisdictions,” said Dr. Russell Brewer, Research Associate Professor at the University of Chicago, Medicine and chair of ESCALATE’s Implementation Science Advisory Team.

NMAC leads with race to urgently fight for health equity and racial justice to end the HIV epidemic in America. Since 1987, NMAC has advanced our mission through a variety of programs and services, including: a public policy education program, national and regional training conferences, a treatment and research program, numerous electronic and print materials, and a website: www.nmac.org. NMAC also serves as an association of AIDS service organizations, providing valuable information to community-based organizations, hospitals, clinics, and other groups assisting individuals and families affected by the HIV epidemic.

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NMAC to “ELEVATE” Training for PLHIV in HIV Workforce

NMAC has been awarded a cooperative agreement from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to launch “ELEVATE” (Engage Leadership through Employment, Validation, and Advancing Transformation & Equity) for People Living with HIV.

NMAC logo“ELEVATE” will be a four-year national training program for people living with HIV (PLHIV) integrating five of HRSA’s community programs. ELEVATE will prepare PLHIV within planning bodies, advocacy actions, and the HIV workforce to be meaningfully engaged and central to decision-making. PLHIV will be supported to earn leadership roles. The program will focus on residents of the 57 jurisdictions identified in the federal plan to End the HIV Epidemic. NMAC will operate “ELEVATE” in partnership with JSI Research & Training Institute, Inc., The Association of Nurses in AIDS Care, and the Latino Commission on AIDS.

“From the moment the federal plan was announced, NMAC has believed that it could be a tremendous opportunity to hire people from affected communities into professional positions,” said NMAC Executive Director Paul Kawata. “‘ELEVATE’ will help make that opportunity into reality by giving potential job candidates the tools they need to be hired and succeed. We look forward to working with our constituents to help them make a difference in their communities.”

“We cannot say it enough times that meaningful engagement of people living with HIV is mandatory if we truly are committed to ending the epidemic,” said Ace Robinson, Director of the NMAC’s Center to End the Epidemics. “The vast majority of people living with HIV are racial/ethnic minorities who face a myriad of systemic societal ills in addition to HIV-related stigma. We must uplift these individuals by centering them on creating and implementing solutions. ELEVATE will help us all reach our common goal of ending the HIV epidemic.”

“ELEVATE” is modeled on NMAC’s Building Leaders of Color (BLOC) program and other training programs sponsored by HRSA including: JSI’s “Community HIV/AIDS TA Training (Planning CHATT)” and “The ACE TA Center’s In It Together Initiative;” the Center for Quality Improvement and Innovation’ s “Training Consumers on Quality Plus;” and Boston University School of Social Work’s “Improving Access to Care: Using Community Health Workers to Improve Linkage and Retention in Care (Among People of Color).”

“JSI is excited to build on our work designing and implementing Planning CHATT, as well as the ACE TA Center’s In It Together initiative, to continue to elevate community voices and enhance community members’ ability to take an active role in health care access and planning,” said Mira Levinson, Co-Director, Center for HIV & Infectious Diseases at JSI Research & Training Institute, Inc. “Our team is looking forward to applying our experience, passion, and commitment to health literacy to the continued evolution of these training resources.”

Engaging the HIV workforce to ensure that PLHIV are supported as both colleagues and patients will be central to the success of ELEVATE.

“The Association of Nurses in AIDS Care (ANAC) is looking forward to being a partner in the ELEVATE program, an important contribution to the success of the Plan to End HIV in the US,” said Carole Treston, Executive Director of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care. “The  engagement and leadership of PLWHIV in the HIV workforce is critical to ending the epidemic and nurses have an important role in supporting their training and employment. We are proud to be part of this cooperative agreement led by NMAC and HRSA, along with JSI  and Latino Commission on AIDS.”

NMAC leads with race to urgently fight for health equity and racial justice to end the HIV epidemic in America. Since 1987, NMAC has advanced our mission through a variety of programs and services, including: a public policy education program, national and regional training conferences, a treatment and research program, numerous electronic and print materials, and a website: www.nmac.org. NMAC also serves as an association of AIDS service organizations, providing valuable information to community-based organizations, hospitals, clinics, and other groups assisting individuals and families affected by the HIV epidemic.

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Jobs Are Racial Justice

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) last week announced the distribution of $109 million in new funding to the 57 jurisdictions that were prioritized for the Ending the HIV Epidemic (EHE) efforts. Since their 2020 EHE budget was $140 million, that means $31 million stayed at the CDC. NMAC is calling for transparency for how CDC intends to use this money. While we have no reasons to be concerned, CDC has not always been transparent in how it spends its HIV funds.

Transparency is important because too many people don’t trust people in power, particularly people in government. Black Lives Matter is calling for a new accountability when spending the public’s money. If we are going to build an HIV movement that is committed to racial justice, then it starts with being transparent about the money. Money is power and we need to monitor how HIV funds are being spent.

We also need to get the money out the door because community is hurting. To my friends at the targeted health departments, please get the money to community as quickly as you can. I don’t need to tell you that people are hurting. This new money comes just as America is falling into an economic tsunami. These millions of dollars should translate into thousands of new jobs. With unemployment hovering at 10%, it matters.

Just as I requested that the CDC be transparent with the money they are keeping, I also think it is important for health departments to be transparent. While the vast majority are great, there are some health departments that keep too much of the money. After all these years fighting HIV, we know that community, particularly people living with HIV/AIDS, are core to the solution.

To all of the community-based organizations and health centers who are getting new funding to end the epidemic, whom you hire matters. NMAC hopes you will hire staff from the communities that are hardest hit by HIV. Black Lives Matter is a fight for racial justice and health equity. You can stand in solidarity with the struggle by hiring people from the struggle. Racism is real and our movement has the opportunity with these new jobs to change lives and to end the HIV epidemic.

Our staffs are watching, boards are concerned, donors want to know how we are responding to Black Lives Matter, and people living with HIV want us to do the right thing. While it’s not enough money, $109 million is a start. All of our jobs are to make sure the money is going to where it can have the largest impact in the communities hardest hit by HIV. We know how to end the HIV epidemic, but do we have the will power and the money to make it happen?

August 13th Webinar with Raniyah Copeland
Nearly 250 people have registered for our August 13th Webinar with Raniyah Copeland from the Black AIDS Institute. The webinar is at 1:00 PM (Eastern)/10 AM (Pacific). There is still time to register. My staff loves BAI. They are always going on about their cutting-edge programs. Rather than be threatened by this love affair, I thought it would be important to support staff and invite Raniyah to the August 13th webinar to talk about BAI’s special sauce. I’ve also asked her to talk about what the Black Lives Matter movement means to our efforts to end the HIV epidemic.

Yours in the struggle,

 

 

 

 

 

 

Declare Racism a Public Health Crisis

Below is a letter sent by the Federal AIDS Policy Partnership to Dr. Robert Redfield, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

July 30, 2020

Robert Redfield, MD
Director
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
1600 Clifton Road NE
Atlanta, GA 30329

Dear Dr. Redfield,
As leaders in the public health community, the 38 organizations below stand in solidarity with the over 1,200 current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) employees who signed this letter to the agency’s senior leadership. Per their request, we ask you to:

1. Declare racism a public health crisis in the United States;
2. Increase Black representation among senior CDC leadership and diversify the talent pipeline for future leaders;
3. Acknowledge and take immediate, direct action to address CDC’s toxic culture of exclusion and racial discrimination;
4. Dismantle the visible and invisible barriers to career advancement for Black employees;
6. Make implicit bias training and cultural sensitivity education mandatory for all CDC employees; and
7. Resolve pending EEO cases of racial discrimination.

We must hold our Federal partners accountable to the same demands we ask of communities across this country. The time is now to demand and expect change from our Federal partners. We have to address the structural barriers that keep people out of care and services that could improve their health outcomes. This is built on trust and accountability. We know the CDC understands this as its research and grants require external actors to outline how they are going to work with communities and affected groups. However, this analysis and reflection seem to be absent from their internal works. Long-term public health accountability includes diversifying the workforce, but also supporting the diverse workforce currently in place comprised of those directly impacted by systemic racism. Accountability strategies must include listening to, prioritizing, and operationalizing responses to the concerns of public health professionals of color. The time and resources spent advocating for equitable working conditions delay targeted and culturally relevant public health responses and further devalue Black and Brown lives. The consistent need for advocacy places a burden and negative mental health impact on public health professionals of color, who are often expected to persuade institutions to respond appropriately.

As public health organizations, we must also actively work to dismantle systems of racism, discrimination, prejudice, health inequity, and stigma within our own organizations and communities. We must continue to focus our work on addressing social determinants of health; we must continue to call on the Administration and Congress to invest in public health infrastructure and preserve and expand safety nets; and we will continue to fight for accessible and equitable health care, housing, education, and employment. It is the responsibility of public health professionals, including the organizations signed on, to center anti-racism and health equity in our own work and to foster and demand that swift action be taken.

The urgency of immediate action and the need to center anti-racism efforts in our public health responses is highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic that is disproportionately impacting Black lives. Communities of color in the U.S. are also disproportionately impacted by HIV, STDs, and hepatitis. African Americans, more than any other racial/ethnic group, continue to bear the greatest burden of HIV in the U.S. Recent COVID-19 data shows that Black communities in the U.S. are experiencing higher rates of hospitalization and death compared to whites –exacerbated by many of the same health disparities that impact the HIV care continuum.

As your public health partners, it is critical that CDC address these concerns. We are committed to working collaboratively with CDC to address them. If you have any questions, please contact the FAPP co-chairs, Kathie Hiers at kathie@aidsalabama.org or Mike Weir at mweir@NASTAD.org.

CC: Jonathan H. Mermin, MD, MPH, CDC/NCHHSTP

Sincerely,

ADAP Advocacy Association
Advocates for Youth
African American Health Alliance
AIDS Action Baltimore
AIDS Alabama South, LLC
AIDS Foundation of Chicago
AIDS United
American Academy of HIV Medicine
Amida Care
APLA Health
AVAC
Black AIDS Institute
CAEAR Coalition
Cascade AIDS Project
Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation
Community Access National Network (CANN)
Cush Health Impact
Food is Medicine Coalition
GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBTQ Equality
God’s Love We Deliver
Health GAP
Health Services Center
HealthHIV
Human Rights Campaign
NASTAD
National Black Gay Men’s Advocacy Coalition
National Coalition of STD Directors
National Working Positive Coalition
NMAC
North Carolina AIDS Action Network
Positive Women’s Network-USA
Prevention Access Campaign
San Francisco AIDS Foundation
Southern AIDS Coalition
Southern Black Policy and Advocacy Network
The AIDS Institute
The Well Project
Treatment Action Group

The Latest on USCHA

The 2020 United States Conference on AIDS has over 3,300 registrations. Please be sure to register for free before we reach 4,000.

Dr. Anthony Fauci* will keynote the Federal Plenary on Tuesday, Oct 19th. The session will ask our federal leaders for the next steps in our efforts to end the HIV epidemic. COVID-19 has changed everything, including the way we provide HIV prevention and care.The good doctor does not need to hear from me that a movement stands behind him. I am so proud of the way the HIV infrastructure is being used to fight COVID-19. The COVID-19 Prevention Trials Network is a merger that includes the HIV Vaccine Trials Network (PVTN), the HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN), and the AIDS Clinical Trials Group. This clearly documents the value of our country’s investment in HIV and why Congress must increase HIV funding. Here is more information if you are thinking about volunteering to be part of a trial. As we learned on last week’s webinar from Dr. Stephaun Wallace, they need a diversity of people to volunteer for these trials, including People Living with HIV.

What We’ve Learned from Attending Other Virtual Meetings
Virtual meetings are new to most of us. Recent experiences showed NMAC that training in advance on the conference platform is vital to a good conference experience. USCHA will use multiple training tools including online manuals, webinars, and real people to provide technical support. The next two USCHA webinars will happen on:

  • Aug 6th How to Set-Up Online Exhibit Booths
  • Aug 19th Recording Online Workshops

Staff is putting together “advance” workshops to serve as models for presenters. These early sessions will be online to collect feedback on the learning formats and to give presenters an example of USCHA’s expectations. The goal is to create a “good learning experience” for communities working on the frontlines of the epidemic and to educate and train them on the latest HIV prevention, care, and wrap around services in a COVID-19 world where Black Trans Lives Matter.

If we can, we will also have a version of the conference platform online prior to the start of the meeting. It will be an opportunity for registered attendees to use the new technology in advance. Staff will use this time to get feedback and uncover any problems in advance of the start time.

Yours in the struggle,

 

 

 

 

*I did not get permission to use this picture of Dr. Fauci, in fact I am concerned that he does not like it. I thought it was cool and wanted to celebrate him.