Important Happenings in HIV/Health Policy 6/7/19

Important Happenings in HIV/Health Policy 6/7/19

Week ending: June 7, 2019
By: Sable K. Nelson

Trump Administration fetal tissue research ban, kills 30-year HIV partnership between federal government, UCSF

On Wednesday, June 5, the Trump administration cancelled a multi-million-dollar contract that uses fetal tissue to test new HIV treatments in a significant tightening of federal support for biomedical science that relies on the material collected from elective abortion, according to the Washington Post. There are five (5) things that members of the HIV Community should know:
(1) The Trump Administration made this decision because June 5 was the day of the government’s contract with UCSF needed to be renewed. It was being renewed in 90 day increments.
(2) Intramural research programs (i.e., within NIH) may not acquire further human fetal tissue from elective abortions. This affects 12 projects total (three are actively ordering fetal tissue).
(3) Extramural research programs (i.e., outside of the NIH) have split implications. For research programs that have already been funded: no immediate impact. For new NIH grants for competitive renewal, a special ethics advisory committee will review the proposals.
(4) The Trump Administration is going to engaging in rulemaking to ensure uniformity of informed consent by mother getting the elective abortion and to make researchers justify the use of human fetal tissue.
(5) HHS plans to use $20M to investigate alternative models for research (that do not involve fetal tissue from elective abortions.

For more information, READ.

To understand the implications for HIV research, READ.

Podcast: KHN’s ‘What The Health?:’ Fetal Tissue Research Is Latest Flashpoint In Abortion Debate

Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times, Joanne Kenen of Politico and Paige Winfield Cunningham of The Washington Post join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss the Trump administration’s efforts to curtail federally funded research using fetal tissue, the backlash from former Vice President Joe Biden’s support for the anti-abortion Hyde Amendment and how health policy intersects with both trade and immigration policy. For more information, LISTEN.


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 with 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 remains vigilant in its advocacy to protect FY20 government funding and the existence of the social safety net.
  • NMAC is working in coalition to defend the right of people living with HIV to serve in the US military.