NMAC Connection: The Latest News From NMAC

Learn About the USCA Scholarship Process in April 11 Webinar

Interested in a scholarship to attend the US Conference on AIDS this year? Join us for a webinar on April 11 to explain the process, including application deadlines, scholar responsibilities, and important dates. Whether you’re interested in an Option A or B scholarship, an HIV 50+ Strong & Health scholarship, or a Social Media Fellowship, this webinar is for you.
Register now

Welcome Marissa Miller to the NMAC Family
NMAC is thrilled to welcome Marissa Miller to our family. As a
Program Coordinator, Marissa works in our Leadership Pipeline program, helping to train new leaders in the fight against HIV.  A native of Indiana, Marissa has been an active voice for the transgender community for years in Indiana and Chicago, where she worked at Howard Brown Health.
Marissa shared some of her thoughts about her work here at NMAC.

Join Us for a Webinar on Multimorbidity and HIV+ Older Adults
Join us for “Why Are Older Adults with HIV at Increased Risk for Multimorbidity?,” a webinar from our Treatment division, on Friday, April 6, at 3:00 PM with national expert on HIV and aging, Dr. Stephen Karpiak. As people living with HIV live longer, healthcare providers are spending less time managing HIV-related issues and more time managing age-associated illnesses. This webinar will explore this topic.
Register now!

We’re Hiring!
NMAC is hiring! If you’d like to come work with us, please check out our latest job opportunities.

NMAC Connection: Invitation to CAPS

Would you consider applying to be part of NMAC’s Community Advisory Panels? This is a way too long recruitment letter to talk about our grand experiment. Applications are due March 23.. This newsletter explains NMAC’s vision and strategy to end the HIV epidemic.

NMAC leads with race to end the HIV epidemic in America.

We do it by urgently fighting for health equity and racial justice via our continued commitment to build leaders of color, our focused role within the HIV community on race, and its impact on HIV care and prevention, and by our survival when so many other agencies have closed their doors. In 1987 we started with a commitment to building leaders of color with the skills, connections, and savvy to fight. Today, NMAC continues to build leaders and ask them to focus on race and its impacts on HIV care, treatment, and prevention. NMAC does not do anti-racism work. There are many organizations with more experience and qualifications. To be effective, anti-racism work has to focus on white people. NMAC builds the skills and tells the stories of people of color.


In 2014-15, NMAC’s updated strategic plan changed our name, mission, and vision. During this time, America also saw the rise of the Occupy Wall Street, Black Lives Matter, and MeToo movements. Like these causes, NMAC fights for a world that is fair and equitable; however, our fight is focused/limited to ending the HIV epidemic in America. We are not here to end racism. We are here to examine how race impacts HIV care, treatment, and prevention. The majority of Americans living with HIV are people of color, yet 74 percent of the people on PrEP are white. This inequity is why NMAC fights for comprehensive biomedical HIV prevention for all communities highly impacted by HIV.

There are many ways to lead with race. NMAC believes that building the skills of leaders of color, standing up within the HIV movement, and surviving the difficult years is how NMAC leads with race. Will you join our grand experiment?  Online applications are due March 23 to be on NMAC’s new Community Advisory Panels (CAP).

This is a real program that needs real commitments. Your input will influence the workshops, plenaries, and scholarship decisions for both USCA and the Summit.

I’m going to stop before I lose you. An extended version of the letter can be found here.  Thank you for your consideration.

Yours in the struggle,

Paul Kawata
(202)  277-2777
Executive Director

NMAC Connection: NMAC Honors National Native American HIV Awareness Day

National Native HIV Awareness Day is March 20
From time to time, we will feature voices from outside NMAC to talk about their communities and their work. This week, in honor of National Native HIV Awareness Day, we’re proud to spotlight Shana Christensen, a member of the Kiowa tribe in Oklahoma and a long-term HIV survivor and advocate.

There is a saying in Lakota that I really love: “Mitákuye Oyás’iŋ.” It means “All my Relations.” I’m not Lakota. We don’t have that saying in Kiowa, which is the tribe I hail from. Nevertheless, It’s always struck a chord with me. When I think about all the other Natives who are living with HIV, they feel like my family, even if I haven’t met them yet. Native Americans represent some two percent of the US population, yet in many areas of the country, our HIV rates as a race are super high, above whites and in some places, second highest.

> Read more from Shana                                                                                                                       Photo by Jeremy Charles

Want to Submit an Abstract for USCA? Join our         Re-Scheduled Webinar March 20
As some of you know, we had some technical difficulties with our March 7 webinar on submitting an abstract for USCA. We’ve worked to iron those problems out and have re-scheduled the webinar for Tuesday, March 20, at 3:00 PM EST. Join us and find out more about this process. And, once again, our apologies for the difficulties to all of those who joined us on March 7.
 > Register now!

Join Us for “Women and HIV in the South” Webinar March 21
Register now for the latest webinar in our Community Spotlight Series on March 21 at 3:00 PM EST. Gina Brown, Community Organizer for the Southern AIDS Coalition, will join us to talk about Women and HIV in the South.
Register now!

One Week Left to Join NMAC’s Constituent Advisory Panels
Next Friday, March 23, is the deadline to apply to join NMAC’s Constituent Advisory Panels (CAPs). CAPs will advise NMAC on workshops, institutes, plenaries, and scholarship decisions for the 2018 USCA and Summit.
For more information and to apply for CAP membership, visit our website.

Continuing to Celebrate Women’s History Month

National Women & Girls HIV Awareness Day is March 10

By Sable Nelson, NMAC Policy Analyst. I am my sister’s keeper. This upcoming Saturday, March 10, marks the 13th year for National Women and Girls HIV Awareness Day (NWGHAAD), when “national and community organizations come together to show support for women and girls impacted by HIV and AIDS.” The lives and stories of women reflected in recent statistics underscores the continued need for the observance of NWGHAAD.

> Read more about NWGHAAD


“Women and HIV in the South” Webinar March 21

 NMAC’s Community Spotlight Series continues March 21 at 3:00 PM EST with a webinar on Women and HIV in the South, featuring Gina Brown, Community Organizer for the Southern AIDS Coalition.

 > Register now!



Time’s Running Out to Join NMAC’s Constituent Advisory Panels

There are only 15 days left to apply to join NMAC’s Constituent Advisory Panels (CAPs). CAPs will advise NMAC on workshops, institutes, plenaries, and scholarship decisions for the 2018 USCA and Summit.

For more information and to apply for CAP membership, visit our website.


NMAC’s Youth Initiative Launches for 2018

NMAC has opened the eighth cycle of the Youth Initiative program to train future leaders in the fight against the HIV epidemic. The seven-month program is open to applicants ages 18-25. Youth living with HIV or on PrEP, LGBTQ, youth of color, and young cis & trans women are particularly encouraged to apply. For more information or to apply, visit the NMAC website. Applications are due by April 10.

>  Learn more about how you can apply


ON SSDI But Want to Work? Join Our March 9 Webinar!

On Social Security Disability? Want to work but worried about losing your healthcare or benefits? Join us for our webinar “A Message of Hope for Social Security Disability Beneficiaries” on Friday, March 9, 3:00 PM EST and learn from the National Disability Institute about incentives and supports that can get you back in action.

Celebrating Women’s History Month

March is Women’s History Month!
NMAC is focusing on all Women and HIV during Women’s History Month in March. The story of women in the HIV epidemic is often overlooked. We want to make sure that all women’s stories are told.
This month, we’ll feature women’s voices telling their stories of living with HIV, advocating for their communities, and living their best lives.


NMAC’s Leadership Institute Returns! 
NMAC is bringing back its Executive Director Leadership Institute on Wednesday, September5, the day prior to the start of USCA. This year’s meeting will focus on How to Survive During Difficult Political Times. The Institute is for Executive Directors and HIV and STD Health Department Directors. 

You MUST be registered for USCA to register for the Leadership Institute.
For more information and to register for the Institute, visit the USCA website.


Join 1st USCA Webinar: “How to Submit an Abstract” March 7th!
The deadline to submit an abstract for the US Conference on AIDS is April 6. That can be a confusing process, but NMAC is here to help!
Join us on Wednesday, March 7, for our first USCA 2018 webinar “How to Submit an Abstract. This free webinar will walk you through the entire submission process and give you a chance to ask any questions you may have.


Women’s History Month Community Spotlight Webinar March 21st
NMAC’s Community Spotlight Series continues March 21 at 3:00 PM EST with a webinar on Women and HIV, featuring Gina Brown, Community Organizer for the Southern AIDS Coalition. More details to come!

Register now!

New Year: New Newsletter

New Year, New Newsletter

You’ve probably noticed that this newsletter is 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. Read more about our new newsletter.


NMAC Spotlight: Leadership Pipeline

The fight against HIV has been ongoing for nearly four decades and still has a long way to go. We will need new generations of advocates and activists to succeed long-time leaders. Through our Youth Initiative and our Building Leaders of Color (BLOC) programs, we are helping to create the HIV community’s leaders of tomorrow. Find out more about the Leadership Pipeline.


What’s in the Leadership Pipeline for 2018

You’d expect that the Pipeline has a busy 2018. And you’d be right! We have a full calendar of trainings and new initiatives to continue our mission of building the HIV leaders of the future. Check out what we have coming up!


Who is the Leadership Pipeline?

The Leadership Pipeline is led by Linda H. Scruggs and NMAC’s Retention and Recruitment Specialist, Charles Shazor Jr. Together, they work with people of color living with HIV to build a community of transformative community of leaders in the HIV movement. Their contact information is listed below:

Linda H. Scruggs             Charles Shazor, Jr
Acting Director, LP            Recruitment and Retention Specialist                                                               (202) 603-3517                  (202) 302 -7515


Join Us for a Special Webinar!

NMAC’s Treatment program’s Advocacy and Education Webinar Series presents “Chemsex, HIV, and Aging: A Dialogue on Effects and Interventions” this Friday, January 5, 2018 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM EST.

This workshop will be a conversation between clinician and author David Fawcett (Lust, Men, and Meth), who will address the physical and clinical issues created by Chemsex; and recovering addict and HIV blogger Mark S. King (My Fabulous Disease), who will share the attraction and effects of Chemsex and his own recovery process. This conversational format will explore the risks, effects, and evidence-based interventions for Chemsex in an aging population of PLWHA.

You can register here https://attendee.gototraining.com/r/5565039952901605378. After registering you will receive a confirmation email with information about joining the training.


Keep the NMAC Connection in 2018

2018 will be a big year at NMAC. We have a lot of work ahead of us, but it’s essential work to the health and well-being of the communities we serve. We hope you’ll join us for the exciting opportunities ahead.

NMAC Connection: A Challenging Road Ahead

NMAC Spotlight: Treatment

NMAC’s Treatment Division leads with race by asserting the unique needs of communities of color through its programs, advocacy, and policy work and NMAC’s conferences. Our programs expand our HIV health literacy agenda with an acute focus on biomedical prevention, effective treatment options, cure advocacy, and healthcare access and engagement activities in communities of color. Our advocacy and policy work leverages our collective strength as a community to protect healthcare reform and the gains we made towards ending the epidemic due to the Affordable Care Act as well as to fund critical HIV programs that help us end the epidemic. Our conferences work facilitates the sharing of research, data, smart policies, and community-informed best practices. To find out more about Treatment, please visit our website.

Treatment had a very successful 2017 and has big plans for 2018. Read more on our website.

Who’s in the Treatment Division?

Moises Agosto-Rosario     Matthew Rose
Treatment Director             Policy and Advocacy Manager
(202) 836-3669                  (202) 834-1472

Fernando De Hoyos           Sable K. Nelson
Treatment Coordinator       Policy Analyst
(202) 836-2226                   (202) 997-0951

Guest Voice: David Harvey, Executive Director of the National Coalition of STD Directors

From time to time, NMAC will include voices from outside our organization to present different views, research studies, or other commentary. This week, we’re pleased to feature David Harvey, Executive Director of the National Coalition of STD Directors.

Paul Kawata recently wrote that he is willing to live with the “trade-off” of increasing STDs if it means we can end the HIV epidemic. I thank Paul for publicly raising what so many have raised in private – but I think this is the wrong framing of the issue. I argue that we cannot end HIV without acknowledging an inconvenient truth: the HIV and STD epidemics are inextricably linked and without combatting both, we won’t end HIV.
(click here to read David’s full statement)

Mark Your Calendars! USCA Sept. 6-9

Please mark your calendar for the 2018 United States Conference on AIDS to be held September 6-9 in Orlando, Florida. NMAC initially moved USCA to Orlando to support a city that was devastated by the massacre at Pulse Nightclub. It was a tragic and unthinkable loss of life and, like the HIV epidemic, it left behind a community that was both broken and committed to rebuilding. Two years later, what are the lessons the HIV community can learn from this adversity? How do we honor this unspeakable loss while the rest of the world moves on to other issues?

Read more about USCA 2018 here

A Challenging Road Ahead

We have a lot of work ahead of us in 2018. We hope you’ll join us to resist efforts to harm, marginalize, and stigmatize the HIV community and all communities at risk for HIV. Keep watching here and on our website to see how you can help!

A Response to HHS

Nation’s Leading HIV & STD Organizations Oppose Formation of New “Conscience and Religious Freedom Division” at HHS

Washington, DC — AIDS United, NASTAD, the National Coalition of STD Directors, NMAC, and The AIDS Institute, jointly condemned the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announcement today of the formation of a new Conscience and Religious Freedom Division (CRFD) in the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR). The CRFD will be tasked with “restor[ing] federal enforcement of our nation’s laws that protect the fundamental and unalienable rights of conscience and religious freedom.” To those of us who work to promote the health of LGBTQ people, those living with HIV, including people of color, and other marginalized communities, we recognize this as dog-whistle politics and an attempt at state-sanctioned discrimination. The Trump administration is extending federal, legal cover to providers who can potentially deny medical care for transgender individuals, women, or same-sex couples, including the full range of reproductive health services and any other procedure an employee or licensed health facility may object to, on so-called “moral” grounds. The new division will invite health professionals to misinterpret and ignore current legal and medical standards, putting the health and safety of patients at risk.

In its announcement of the office, HHS spokesperson OCR Director Roger Severino offered the false choice that “no one should be forced to choose between helping sick people and living by one’s deepest moral or religious convictions.” However, we contend that no one should be denied medical care because their doctor or provider objects to their sexual orientation, gender identity, or reproductive autonomy. LGBTQ and other minority and marginalized communities, especially those living with HIV, already face discrimination and significant barriers to accessing critical prevention and care services.

The Office of Civil Rights should focus its efforts on ensuring access to care, particularly for communities who suffer devastating health disparities because of the discrimination they face. In its denial of the experience of those whose very lives are endangered by provider discrimination, the CRFD makes a mockery of the Office of Civil Rights and we urge the administration to reverse course.


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, STDs and Viral Hepatitis 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. STD, and hepatitis prevention, care and treatment in the United States.


NMAC Connection: A Critical Year Ahead

A Message from the Executive Director

2017 was a difficult political year. Unfortunately, 2018 looks to be equally challenging. President Trump requires that we up our game. There are real lives and real money on the line. Our movement’s long-term success or failure will be greatly shaped by what happens over the next three years. 2018 is particularly important because of the midterm elections, implementation of the tax reform, getting rid of the individual mandate for health insurance, and Congress looking to cut $1.5 trillion in federal spending to pay for the tax cuts. They are seriously considering cuts to Medicare and Medicaid.

NMAC’s 2018 Vision centers on four priorities. These priorities require significant collaboration (internal and external). NMAC remains committed to lead with race to end HIV/AIDS. Biomedical HIV prevention is our greatest hope for building pathways to end the epidemic.

Read more about NMAC’s Vision for 2018.


NMAC Spotlight: Conferences

The United States Conference on AIDS (USCA) remains the largest annual gathering of the HIV community in the nation. And the Biomedical HIV Prevention Summit continues to grow in importance after just two years. Both of those events are organized by the Conferences division at NMAC. Each year, our staff works to present a USCA and a Summit that are engaging, educational, and impactful for those who attend. It’s a big job but an important one.


USCA and Summit 2018

That brings us to the 2018 USCA! This year’s conference will be held Sept. 6-9 in Orlando, Florida at the Hyatt Regency. We hope to see many of you there so mark your calendars now! If you’d like to register, exhibit, sponsor, or advertise at USCA, please visit our website.

We’re still in the early stages of planning this year’s Biomedical HIV Prevention Summit. Keep watching here and on our website for more information.


Who’s in Conferences?

Tara Barnes-Darby        Alison McKeithen            Shanta’ Gray
Conferences Director        Conferences Manager      Meetings and Registration Coordinator
(202) 870-0460                   (202) 930-2567                    (202) 302-9720


It’s an Election Year! Are You Ready?

2018 is a critical midterm election year. We need everyone to make their voices heard on behalf of everyone living with HIV and communities that are vulnerable to the epidemic.

Are you registered to vote? Do you know where you can register? Do you have all the documentation your state requires to vote, like a current photo ID? When is the primary election in your state? Are there any special elections for Congress or legislatures in your area?

You can find answers to many of those questions here. You can also find links for your local elections offices to see which elections are coming up in your area.

Don’t sit this vital election out! We need your voice!


Join the NMAC Family!

Become a member of NMAC! With all of this critical work to be done, NMAC needs your help. We rely on the generous support of individuals and organizations to ensure that the voices of minorities vulnerable to and living with HIV are heard in DC and helps us provide our critical training, education activities, and programming.

NMAC Connection: Centering Black Voices

Join Us for a Black History Month Webinar Feb. 21

Join us for a webinar for Black History Month on Feb. 21 at 3:00 PM EST. We are thrilled to welcome Leisha McKinley-Beach to talk about advocacy and awareness of HIV from Black leadership from the very beginning of the epidemic. NMAC is also honored to partner with the National Black AIDS Institute to present this webinar.

This webinar is the first in NMAC’s Community Spotlight webinar series this year to celebrate and spotlight communities that are often invisible or overlooked due to issues of race, gender, or gender identity – and to make sure they and their challenges with HIV are seen and heard.

Register NOW!


Join NMAC for Trainings in Jackson, MS and Ft Lauderdale , FL Next Week!

Are you in Jackson, MS, or Ft. Lauderdale, FL, the week of Feb. 5? Then join NMAC for a training session with our Strong Communities program! This training promotes an intentional discussion among community-based organizations and clinics about the social drivers of HIV, how they intersect with race, and how race affects HIV service delivery. Register NOW!


February 7 is National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

February 7 marks the 18th year for National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD), a national HIV testing and

treatment community mobilization initiative targeted at Blacks in the United States and the African Diaspora. Founded in 1999 as a national response to the growing HIV and AIDS epidemic in Black communities, NBHAAD presents the opportunity for those who have held communities together, spoken truth to power, demanded higher quality services, advocated for better access to treatment/prevention to help us achieve the end of the epidemic in our lifetime. Read more about NBHAAD and HIV in the African-American community. 


Executive Update: Why NMAC Must Lead With Race

By Paul Kawata, Executive Director
We create coded language to explain why people of color must work smarter, stronger, and be more organized than their white counterparts. Racism is baked into the mainstream’s beliefs about people with different skin colors. It is unfair, but very real. White is seen as competent, while everyone else must prove their worth.

This is the lesson that parents of color teach their children, also known as “driving while black.” To protect our children, early on we share life’s ugly reality that the world isn’t fair. Your skin color can get you killed. Read more of Paul’s update.