Summit Update

At NMAC, we call the Biomedical HIV Prevention Summit: The Summit.  We believe the combination of PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) and TasP(Treatment as Prevention) can build real pathways to end the epidemic.  Join us December 4-5, 2017 in New Orleans at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside.  Thank you Gilead, Avita, and the Levi Strauss Foundation for your support of the Summit.

Unlike USCA, the conference that celebrates the diversity of issues impacting our movement, the Summit is a single-issue conference focused on biomedical HIV prevention.  The meeting looks at implementation science and how to bring the promise of PrEP and TasP to communities hardest hit by HIV.

Last year NMAC held the first Summit.  Here feedback we received from Gus Cairns from an article in NAM:  aidsmap,

“The US National HIV PrEP Summit, which took place in early December in San Francisco, was one of the most extraordinary HIV meetings I have ever been to. This first-ever gathering of 600 people involved in PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) provision in the USA (plus 25 non-US scholarship recipients, mainly from Europe) was already designed to be something different from the standard HIV ‘discover-test-treat’ conference. But fate then intervened to make it happen at an extraordinary time – in between the US election and Donald Trump’s inauguration. The election result totally changed the conference’s atmosphere and meaning.

The PrEP summit was designed as an event of celebration and hope. Its structure, its speakers, even the way the plenary room was designed and the way the speakers dressed, all conveyed one message: we are all in this together, and PrEP really is the game-changer we have been looking for.

Plenary talks were given in the round, from a low stage in the centre of the room. So were panels, with discussants sitting in white designer chairs. Slides were shown, but in the corners of the room behind our heads, so people looked at the speaker instead.

The atmosphere was more akin to gay men’s prevention conferences in the 1990s than treatment conferences. There was little sense of hierarchy or experts-versus-learners. One prominent presenter came out as having just started PrEP, to warm applause. Workers for stern-sounding federal bureaus were hard to tell from community spokespeople. Discussions were facilitated by an ‘MC’, the activist Ken Williams, better known as the blogger ‘Ken Like Barbie’, who has no federal job to lose.

The conference audience was also notably different. A majority of attendees were women, about 50% were black, and flamboyant rather than conservative gayness was much on show. There was also a large, conspicuous and involved trans* contingent, mainly women but some men.”

Last year the Summit was sold-out and unfortunately we had to turn people away.  This year the Summit can accommodate 1000 delegates.  Register early because we must close close the meeting when it reaches capacity.

Important Summit Deadlines

I look forward to seeing you in New Orleans.

Yours in the struggle,

Moises Agosto
Director of Treatment

USCA: 30 Rooms Left @ Marriott Marquis

For the 2017 United States Conference on AIDS, there are only 30 sleeping rooms left at the host hotel, the Marriott Marquis. This year we changed the process for making hotel reservations and appreciate everyone’s cooperation.  You must register for USCA before you can make a hotel reservation.  At $169 per night, this highly discounted room rate was just for USCA attendees.

The reason the sleeping rooms went so quickly is that NMAC set aside a number of rooms for scholarship recipients. There are two upcoming scholarship deadlines: June 2nd forpeople over 50 living with HIV and June 30th for general scholarships.  Thank you Gileadfor supporting the scholarships for people over 50 living with HIV, ViiV Healthcare for supporting our Youth Initiative scholarships (deadline has passed), and to all of the conference sponsors for their support of the general scholarships.

The Embassy Suites is our overflow hotel.  It is 2 blocks from the Marriott.  The room block will be opened as soon as the Marriott is sold out.

Other USCA Information
USCA’s Opening Reception will be held on Wednesday, September 6th at 6 PM at the Library of Congress.  Please schedule your travel to arrive on time for this valuable networking opportunity.  We are very pleased to host this reception at the James Madison Memorial Building in the Montpelier Room.  The reception is on the top floor of this national monument.  With its floor-to-ceiling windows and wrap-around balcony, it has spectacular views of the US Capitol and the city.

Dr. Laura Cheever, the Associate Administrator for HRSA/HAB will speak at the Federal Plenary scheduled for Saturday, September 9th.  She joins already confirmed speakers Dr. Anthony Fauci, NIAID, and Dr. Jonathan Mermin, CDC.

The Closing Plenary on Sunday September 10th is a tribute all the women in our movement. Kimberly Miller, Paul Kawata’s Facebook friend, recommendedBatala Washington to open this session.  They are a female Afro-Brazilian percussion band.  They opened the Women’s March and they will open the closing session of the 2017 meeting.

Thank you, I look forward to seeing you in September.

Yours in the struggle,

Tara Barnes-Darby
Conference Director

House of Representatives Passes Bill to Take Away Insurance Coverage for Millions

May 4, 2017
House of Representatives Passes Bill to Take Away Insurance Coverage for Millions

Today, AIDS United, NASTAD, the National Coalition of STD Directors, NMAC, and The AIDS Institute join together to condemn the House of Representatives for passing the American Health Care Act (AHCA). If enacted, the AHCA would take away insurance coverage for millions of Americans and end protections for people with pre-existing conditions. This bill is disastrous for people living with or at risk for HIV and STDs.

“The AHCA will be incredibly harmful as it allows insurance companies to discriminate against people living with pre-existing conditions. People living with HIV or STDs can be charged higher premiums because of their health status,” stated Murray C. Penner, Executive Director of NASTAD.

“In addition, by waiving the Essential Health Benefits requirements, insurers will no longer be required to provide the services people living with and at risk for HIV and hepatitis need to stay healthy, including prescription drugs, mental and behavioral health services, and preventive services. These services are critical to the health of people living with or at risk for HIV and STDs and are essential to ending the HIV and STD epidemics,” remarked Michael Ruppal, Executive Director of The AIDS Institute.

Jesse Milan, Jr., AIDS United President & CEO added “Ending Medicaid expansion and proposed changes to the Medicaid program will force states to limit eligibility, benefits, and important consumer protections. These will return the country to a time where someone living with HIV had to be determined disabled to receive Medicaid benefits. It is simply appalling.”

“In addition, this bill eliminates funding for vital services provided by the Prevention and Public Health Fund, which funds 12% of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s budget. This will decimate the federal government’s response to public health issues, including HIV and other STDs,” observed David C. Harvey, Executive Director of the National Coalition of STD Directors.

“We call on the Senate to reject the AHCA and protect people living with or at risk of HIV and STDs. The Senate must preserve protections for people with pre-existing conditions and the Medicaid program,” finished Paul Kawata, Executive Director of NMAC.

And Still We Rise

At NMAC we would like to thank you for continuing to rise in this current time. With so much on the line, it’s important that we as a community make our voices heard. Today we are calling out for the needs of those vulnerable to and living with HIV and we ask that you join us for the HIV Action Day this Sept 6.

We know that when we rise, we shape history. But this is not the beginning of a movement, it is a continuation of a struggle that we have consistently advocated for 30 years. We have stood up and defended what is rightfully ours in the journey towards an end of the epidemic. We ask you to join us so that we may rise together as one family calling for the dream of ending this epidemic. We rise for the people we know, for the people that have passed, for those living with, and for those who need our hope.

We rise to remind others that the call of the HIV community has moved mountains and has changed the course of history. When we rise as a community, we remind others that our work is not done, and that there is still work to do. We are still called to continue the process. Through collaboration and partnership, we can bring an end to this epidemic.

This goal will not be realized without the collective work of our communities. Together, we must show our power, our strength, our brilliance, our courage, and remind others of a long-held dream that will touch the lives of millions. So, we ask, will you be there on ourHIV Action Day? Will you add your voice with ours and let the country hear a resounding demand for justice from our communities?

Over the last few months we have seen the kind of engagement that will help move us closer to victory. An engagement, that despite the challenges we continue to face, proves we can make change happen on federal, state, and local levels.

We hope in the spirit of family reunion you will join us on the steps of the Capitol to rise together to speak out at this pivotal moment in our history. For 30 years NMAC has fought for racial justice and equity across the healthcare system to end the epidemic. This year, we rise for people living at the margins who are in most need of our support and ask you to join us as on September 6 when our movement gathers at the Capitol to rise once again.

Yours in the struggle,
Matthew Rose
Policy and Advocacy Manager

Scholarship Deadlines: What You Need to Know!

Scholarship Deadlines: What You Need to Know

NMAC is offering many different scholarships to USCA and the Summit this year. This e-newsletter is meant to help you learn more about the various options we are offering and their deadlines. It will also outline our 2017 priorities to explain how decisions for selection are made.

Thanks to ViiV Healthcare and the Magic Johnson Foundation there will be 30 youth initiative scholarships for USCA. Additionally, Gilead is supporting 50 scholars over 50 living with HIV as well as 100 scholarships for the Biomedical HIV Prevention Summit. Finally, all of the 2017 USCA sponsors will support 150 scholarships for the main meeting. In honor of our 30th Anniversary, this is the largest number of scholarships (330) that NMAC has ever provided.


30th Anniversary Member Priority
Half of this year’s scholarships are set aside for 30th Anniversary Members.  In commemoration of this anniversary, NMAC has created a special 30th Anniversary Membership Rate of $30 for People Living with HIV and Youth Under the age of 25. Additionally, as a special thank you, NMAC is setting aside 50% of all the 2017 scholarships for 30th Anniversary Members.  To confirm your membership, please email Aminata Kamara.

50 States
Our second priority is regional diversity.  One scholarship per state guarantees delegates from all 50 states and the territories.  This supports the national vision of our meetings.

Top 20 Cities
The third priority is to establish scholarships for attendees coming from the 20 cities with the highest incidence of HIV.  This objective is meant to ensure active participation from leaders representing those regions that are the most highly impacted by HIV.

Racial Diversity
NMAC’s mission is to lead with race to end the HIV epidemic.  This means scholarships will be set aside for African Americans, Asian/Pacific Islanders, Latinx, and Native Americans.  We believe that we MUST address race if we are to end the HIV epidemic.

New Scholarship Recipients
NMAC is committed to building new leaders.  Our final priority is to provide scholarships to new recipients.  While not always possible, NMAC hopes to encourage emerging leaders in our efforts to end the epidemic.

Thank you for your support of NMAC.  We hope this helps in your scholarship application process.

Yours in the struggle,

Tara Barnes Darby
Conference Director


NMAC’s New HIV PrEP Navigation Program

NMAC’s New HIV PrEP Navigation Program

NMAC is pleased to announce a new initiative that Links Communities of Color into Care through a HIV PrEP Navigation Program. Funded by the National Library of Medicine and Gilead, this program will improve recruitment, linkage, retention to care, and health outcomes for people of color who are at high-risk for HIV. It’s built upon the belief that persons trained as HIV PrEP navigators can be effective in reducing and eliminating barriers to timely prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of HIV in their own communities.

Tell us about your Navigation program!

Tell us about your navigation program and the first 300 constituents who complete the survey will receive a $10 Amazon gift card!!  This assessment will help NMAC collect data focused on the professional development needs of HIV navigators and mechanisms that support the successful implementation of HIV PrEP navigation programs. Complete the National 2017 Assessment no later than April 27th, 2017.

Capacity Building Assistance
The services provided through this program will improve the capacity of community-based and healthcare organizations to provide HIV PrEP navigation services to persons of color who are at high-risk for HIV. Services will be delivered through trainings, technical assistance, and information sharing.

The program offers:

HIV PrEP Navigation Trainings
HIV PrEP Navigation Technical Assistance on topics such as:

  • Health Literacy
  • Legal considerations for PLWH
  • Motivational interviewing
  • Cultural competency
  • PrEP and biomedical interventions
  • Performance management for navigation supervisors
  • Program evaluation for HIV navigation programs

HIV Navigation Resource Repository

To learn more about this program and other programs offered by NMAC we encourage you to visit our website or email us at

30 Years in the Fight

2017 is NMAC’s 30th Anniversary. To commemorate 30 years in the fight, we are paying homage to our past and paving the way for our future leaders in the movement by offering an exclusive Membership rate of $30 to People Living with HIV and Youth under the age of 25. Please join or renew your membership in tribute to our 30 years of service to ending the epidemic.

Be part of our wall of paid members who make NMAC’s work possible.

Life Is About Choices.

USCA Keynote Speakers

Every day we make choices that impact our future.  This year’s USCA keynote speakers have made choices that can end an epidemic, speak truth to power, or work to end racism.  They did not choose the easy road and for that we are grateful.  We are a stronger family because of their leadership.

This year’s Opening Plenary is on Thursday, September 7th.  It is a tribute to our families.  While there are many details still to be determined, we are pleased to announce that Dr. David Williams from Harvard University will speak to us about his ground-breaking research on race and its impact on health.  David is an old friend to NMAC.  This is his 3rd USCA, but first plenary speech.

On Saturday, September 9th, our Federal Plenary will welcome back our family heroes, Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Jonathan Mermin.  Dr. Fauci is the Director of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), he’s been there since the beginning.  In many ways, Tony is the oracle for our movement.  He will update us on the current work to end the epidemic and help us understand the latest scientific advances and what that means to leaders working on the frontlines. 
Dr. Mermin is the Director of the National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention (NCHHSTP).  Like Tony, Jono is a long term friend of the community and a leader in the battle to end HIV.  Jono will speak to us about the Future of HIV Prevention as well as the strategies meant to end the epidemic.

Our closing plenary will be a tribute to this year’s Women’s March.  Carmen Perez is a national co-chair for the Women’s March.  She will talk about the importance of speaking truth to power and remind us that we have the power and the voice that can change the world.

There are still many slots to be filled, but we wanted to give you a taste of what to expect this year.  Life is about choices and we hope you will choose to be with your movement in September. After all, this is a Family Reunion and right now we need everyone in the family to show up and show out.  You don’t have to be alone, you don’t have to feel hopeless.  You are part of a family that is fighting to end an epidemic.  It’s a family affair.

Yours in the struggle,

Tara Barnes Darby & Paul Kawata