Important Happenings in HIV/Health Policy

Important Happenings
in HIV/Health Policy

Week Ending: August 10, 2018
By: Matthew Rose & Sable K. Nelson

NOTE: The House is now in recess until September 4. The Senate is on its scheduled recess until Wednesday, August 15.


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

Since 2014, several U.S. cities, counties, and states have announced Ending the Epidemic (EtE) plans. What makes these initiatives unique– in addition to their ambition– is that they are driven by community leaders, including people living with HIV. In the spirit of the Denver Principles, these plans should be by and for those communities directly impacted by the epidemic. Recently, the Trump administration has announced that it will draft its own national EtE plan by mid-2019. This obviously raises many concerns. First and foremost, can the drafting of such a plan possibly truly be led by the communities disproportionately impacted by the epidemic, when these very communities are facing direct attacks by the current administration? In order to preserve the community-led spirit of EtE work, Act Now End AIDS (ANEA) – a national coalition of EtE leaders – intends to draft a community-led national plan. We will engage in a broad, multi-tiered process to collect as much information from impacted communities around the country as possible in order to accurately reflect what we need to end the HIV epidemic for all of us.
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WATCH: AIDS 2018: What Happened and What’s Next?

The Kaiser Family Foundation and the Global Health Policy Center at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) held a briefing to assess the major outcomes of the 2018 International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2018), held from July 23-27 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The discussion touched on the latest scientific developments; the current funding climate for the AIDS response; and other major developments to the field emerging from the conference. The panel included:

  • Ambassador Deborah L. Birx, the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator;
  • Chris Beyrer, professor at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and past president of the International AIDS Society;
  • Jen Kates, KFF vice president and director of Global Health and HIV Policy;
  • Greg Millett, Vice President and Director, Public Policy, at amfAR; and
  • Stephen Morrison, senior vice president and director of the Global Health Policy Center at CSIS.

For more information, WATCH


Protect Medicaid a Key Part of the Social Safety Net

The purpose of Medicaid is to provide health care to low-income people. But in Kentucky, the state estimated 95,000 people would lose Medicaid. A federal judge ruled that Kentucky’s waiver could not be approved, because HHS hadn’t taken into account the likelihood that their policies would run counter to Medicaid’s purpose. So HHS has reopened the comment period on Kentucky’s Medicaid work requirement waiver plan through August 18 (this Saturday at 11:00 p.m. ET). They are looking to get more comments favoring work requirements.  HHS Secretary Alex Azar wants to approve them, despite the court’s ruling. But the judge was persuaded by the previous comments that the KY policy would deny medical assistance, not provide it. And Mississippi has its own waiver request for work requirements.  Parents in Mississippi can only qualify for Medicaid if their income is less than 27 percent of the poverty line ($84 a week for a mom and child). It’s a classic Catch-22: if very poor parents enrolled in Mississippi Medicaid don’t work, they will lose their health care. If they do work enough to comply, they will earn too much to qualify for Medicaid and will lose their health care.

Our friends at the Coalition on Human Need have created a template to submit your comments on the issue.

Click here for the link to have your voice heard on this issue 

The dangerous public charge conversation is back

Trump Administration is again looking at the issue of public charge. This policy would again tear apart families. If it moves forward, it would target legal immigrants who make less than $63,000 a year and their children. Trump is punishing people who wait years for a visa to come to America, work hard, and build a better life for themselves and their family. As many as 100 million people in the U.S. would fail themselves. Trump’s anti-immigrant attacks put families in danger.

For more information, VISIT → 


What You Can Do

TAKE ACTION: It is very important that our elected officials hear from us to protect federal HIV funding for HIV prevention and care.  Speak truth to power by sharing your personal stories with your elected officials. It is vitally important to meet your federal elected officials when they are at home. If we don’t support and advocate for HIV funding and programs, who will?  Our movement cannot afford to stand on the sidelines.  Your U.S. Senators and U.S. Representatives need to hear from you.

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

Wyoming 8/21/2018
New Hampshire 8/29/2018

For more information, VISIT→


Alaska 8/21/2018
Wyoming 8/21/2018
Arizona 8/28/2018
Florida 8/28/2018

For more information, VISIT→


What NMAC is Doing About It

  • NMAC remains vigilant in its advocacy to protect FY19 government funding and the existence of the social safety net.

NMAC released a Biomedical HIV Prevention “Blueprint” entitled Expanding Access to Biomedical HIV Prevention: Tailoring Approaches for Effectively Serving Communities of Color, a new report that establishes strategies to effectively use techniques such as Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) and Treatment as Prevention (TasP) to end the HIV epidemic in communities x`of color. The full report can be found by visiting