Important Happenings in HIV/Health Policy

Important Happenings in HIV/Health Policy

Week ending: February 22, 2018
By: Sable K. Nelson & Matthew Rose

JAIDS: Clinical outcomes of young black men receiving HIV medical care in the United States, 2009–2014

More than one-quarter of 2016 HIV diagnoses among blacks in the U.S. occurred among persons aged 15–24 years, and three-quarters were among men. Although the prevalence of viral suppression at all tests in the past 12 months (durable viral suppression) among persons receiving HIV care increased from 58% to 68% during 2009–2013, we do not know whether this same improvement was seen among young black men receiving care. For more information, READ


Bill to Let Youth Obtain HIV Prevention Medications on Their Own

Connecticut lawmakers were asked Monday to consider letting young people receive preventative medication for HIV diagnoses without their parents’ consent. Advocates told the Public Health Committee that such legislation could help those seeking the drug but don’t feel comfortable discussing their sexual activities with their parents. Some parents expressed concern that they were being cut out. Current state law allows minors to be tested for HIV — the virus that causes AIDS — and receive treatment if they test positive without parental consent. This bill would allow the preventative drug, referred to as pre-exposure prophylaxis or PrEP, to be prescribed. READ →


Investigators Develop Tool to Measure Intact HIV Proviruses

The 2019 NHPI presents a comprehensive depiction of the current state of HIV prevention throughout the United States. The current iteration of the NHPI collected data from 2017 – 2018. The 2019 NHPI provides a unique opportunity to explore continued development of health department HIV programs, showcase progress achieved nationally by health departments that shape health department HIV prevention programming through 2022. For more information, READ


NIH Seeks Feedback from interested stakeholders on a review of the NIH HIV/AIDS Research Priorities and Guidelines for Determining AIDS Funding

The Office of AIDS Research (OAR) in the Division of Program Coordination, Planning, and Strategic Initiatives (DPCPSI), Office of the Director (OD), National Institutes of Health (NIH) invites feedback from interested stakeholders on a review of the NIH HIV/AIDS Research Priorities and Guidelines for Determining AIDS Funding (NOT-OD-15-137) now entering year four of implementation. To ensure consideration, responses must be submitted by: April 13, 2019 11:59:59 PM EDT. For more information, READ


Nicholas Duran bill aims to modernize HIV law

Rep. Nicholas Duran, the Miami Democrat, filed the HIV Prevention Justice Act (HB 79) in hopes of reforming the Florida law that treats those who knowingly transmit HIV different than any other sexually transmitted disease. The bill already has favorably passed through the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee and if it becomes law, the legislation will reclassify a failure to notify a sexual partner of HIV-positive status as a misdemeanor, instead of a felony. For more information, READ →

Trump Plan to Beat HIV Hits Rough Road in Rural America

The goal of the federal plan to end the HIV epidemic is to reduce new instances of HIV by 75 percent in the next five years and by 90 percent in the next ten years. In addition to sending extra money to 48 mainly urban counties, Washington, D.C., and San Juan, Puerto Rico,  the federal government’s plan targets seven states where rural transmission of HIV is especially high. While health officials and doctors treating patients living with HIV in those states say any extra funding would be welcome, they say strategies that work in progressive cities like Seattle won’t necessarily work in rural areas of Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma and South Carolina. For more information, READ →


HHS Requests Community Feedback on National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS) and the National Viral Hepatitis Action Plan (NVHAP)

Both the National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS) and the National Viral Hepatitis Action Plan (NVHAP) expire in 2020. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of HIV/AIDS and Infectious Disease Policy (OHAIDP), in collaboration with federal partners, is leading development of the next iterations of these two separate and distinct national strategies. To help inform the next iterations of the NHAS and NVHAP, HHS seeks input from external stakeholders for improving efficiency, effectiveness, coordination, and accountability of HIV and viral hepatitis prevention, care, treatment, and cure policies, services, and programs.

SAVE THE DATE for the In-Person Listening Session on Friday, February 22, 2019: 
In-person Listening Session at HHS from 11:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m. (ET) in Room 800 of the Hubert H. Humphrey Building, 200 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC, 20201. RSVP by Thursday, February 14 by sending your name, title, and organization to

SHARE YOUR COMMENTS IN WRITING no later than 5:00 p.m. ET on March 11, 2019:
 In addition, we will soon publish a Request for Information (RFI) in the Federal Register to solicit written comments, recommendations, and ideas for updating both the NHAS and the NVHAP. As soon as the RFI is published, NMAC will provide a link to it as well as information about its deadline for input.

Electronic responses are strongly preferred and may be addressed to

Hardcopy written responses should be addressed to: 
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 
Room L001 
330 C Street SW 
Washington, DC 20024
Attention HIV/Viral Hepatitis RFI

All the input gathered from the listening sessions and responses to the RFI will be shared with our federal partners, who collectively will use that information to update the vision, goals, and strategies for both plans, as well as each agency’s actions for implementing them.
For more information, READ


What You Can Do

TAKE ACTION: It is very important that our elected officials hear from us to protect federal 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 to 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.

What NMAC is Doing About It

  • NMAC has begun meeting with congressional offices around FY2020 appropriation to protect government funding and the existence of the social safety net.
  • NMAC is planning for the final release of the President’s plan to end the epidemic
  • NMAC is working in coalition to defend the right of people living with HIV to serve in the US military.