Planning for a New Administration

Last week President-elect Biden officially committed to reinstating the Office of National AIDS Policy (ONAP) at the White House. Now is the time for the HIV community to weigh-in, particularly since this leader will be the President’s representative in our struggle to end the HIV epidemic (EHE) in America. NMAC hopes the Biden administration will consider ending HIV as an integral component of their commitment to racial justice in America.

Here are some of the critical skills that NMAC hopes for the leader of ONAP:

  • Integrate EHE efforts with the Biden administration’s commitment to Black Lives Matter,
  • Passionate leader living with HIV from community,
  • Expand office to focus on the syndemic epidemics of HIV, STDs, and Hepatitis,
  • Work with the Office of Budget and Management (OMB) and Congress to ensure full funding of EHE efforts,
  • Understand the complexities and challenges of HIV Implementation Science,
  • Use the imprimatur of the White House to bring community and federal agencies together to figure out real EHE solutions,
  • Full and active voice on the Domestic Policy Council,
  • Voice in the HIV movement for the President, and
  • Voice of the HIV movement in the White House.

This list is far from comprehensive. What would you add? Let me know because NMAC is writing another letter to the Biden transition team this week. However, our work cannot be limited to ONAP. The President-Elect has already begun announcing his nomination for senior leadership roles and will appoint new leaders immediately after the inauguration. The civil servants will craft the way that we not only do business in Washington, but how America will function both domestically and around the world. We want to encourage each of you to get involved in building our country – from employment to advocacy. Our voices and our bodies are needed to End the HIV Epidemic. Now is our time.

2021 Virtual Biomedical HIV Prevention Summit
The 2021 Virtual Biomedical HIV Prevention Summit is March 30-31, 2021. This year the conference prioritizes implementation of of PrEP and U=U as the core services for ending HIV. While there is a COVID vaccine on the horizon, it is not in time for this year’s meeting. However, NMAC hopes we can have the 2021 United States Conference on HIV/AIDS in person in Washington DC on September 9-12. It will be an important opportunity to introduce members of the Biden administration to the HIV movement. We are closely monitoring the roll-out of the COVID vaccine and hope to make a final determination about meeting “in-person” in February.

The 2021 Summit will give out 1,500 scholarships to the virtual meeting. People living with HIV and people on PrEP will be prioritized. Click here to apply. NMAC understands the central role they play in ending the epidemic. The 2021 Summit goal is to bring leaders from the various target communities together with the staff responsible for EHE program implementation. Hopefully they are the same people, but too often this is not true. NMAC thanks Gilead for being the Presenting Sponsor for the 2021 Summit.

NMAC’s Hill Champions Event
Thank you to everyone who attended NMAC’s Hill Champions fundraiser. If you were unable to join us, please watch the event for free here. NMAC thanks Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Congresswoman Barbara Lee for the leadership our movement needs from them. It will be a very heavy lift to get full funding for our efforts to end the HIV epidemic.

NMAC needs your support as we get set to work with the new Biden administration. Please text NMAC to 50155 to donate. Thanks to a $20,000 matching challenge from NMAC board members Norm Nickens and John Hill, your donation will be doubled. We were able to increase HIV support by hundreds of millions of dollars in the Trump administration. Imagine what we can do during the Biden presidency. Thank you for your support and please be safe during these stressful times.

Yours in the struggle,

Paul Kawata