Newsletter: Policy

Policy Updates: Hill Happenings and Administration Activities

Hill Happenings 

FY2025 Appropriations 

On March 23, lawmakers approved the final minibus of spending bills for fiscal year 2024 (FY2024), closing out a protracted appropriations cycle marked by partisan disagreements and repeat continuing resolutions. With the FY2024 spending bills completed, lawmakers on the House and Senate Appropriations committees are now advancing fiscal year 2025 (FY2025) spending procedures following the release of President Biden’s Executive Budget Request to Congress on March 11. On March 20, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (LHHS) and the House Committee on Ways and Means held hearings on the president’s budget request for FY2025. 

On March 22, House Appropriations Committee (HAC) Chair Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX-12) announced that she would step down from her leadership role following the completion of FY2024 appropriations bills. Rep. Granger was the first Republican women to lead the HAC. She will remain on the HAC as chair emeritus while the GOP Steering Committee and conference select a new Chair

NASTAD will continue to monitor the congressional appropriations process and advocate for the highest possible funding for HIV, hepatitis, and drug user health programs. 

NASTAD Submits Comment on Bipartisan 340B RFI 

On April 1, NASTAD responded to a bipartisan Congressional request for information (RFI) on the 340B Drug Pricing Program and the SUSTAIN 340B Act. The comment letter highlights the critical role that 340B program grantees, especially AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAPs), fill to meet the needs of patients with unique and often complex pharmacologic needs, including HIV and viral hepatitis care. NASTAD called on Congress to reject attempts to impose geographic or specialty pharmacy restrictions and support efforts to integrate telehealth service arrangements between patients and covered entities. 

Administration Activities 

CDC Observes National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day 

National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day (NYHAAD) is on April 10, an annual observance that recognizes the impact of HIV/AIDS on the lives of young people. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Division of Adolescent and School Health (DASH) released a digital toolkit that contains information and resources for partners, including graphics, sample social media posts, and links to additional resources to promote the observance. NYHAAD is an opportunity to deepen strategic partnerships with public health and education agencies, national organizations, clinicians, and parents/caregivers to address the health and well-being of young people. 


NVHR Fact Sheet: Dried Blood Spot: A sample collection method for HCV that can meet people where they are 

Health Affairs: PrEP Discontinuation In A US National Cohort Of Sexual And Gender Minority Populations, 2017–22 

“To promote sustained PrEP use, strategies should focus on supporting those at high risk for discontinuation, such as younger people, those without stable housing or health insurance, and prior PrEP discontinuers.” 

CDC MMWR: Ceftriaxone-Resistant Gonorrhea 

“The prevalence of antibiotic-resistant strains of Neisseria gonorrhoeae increased in China during 2017-2022. Resistance to ceftriaxone, the first-line treatment for gonorrhea, nearly tripled.” 

Job Opportunites

Public Health Physician (40 hour) – Hartford, CT 

The State of Connecticut, Department of Public Health (DPH) is seeking two Public Health Physicians to join our teams within our Infectious Diseases Section. These positions will help lead our critical programs: the Healthcare Associate Infections and Antimicrobial Resistance (HAI-AR) program and the HIV/STD/TB & Hepatitis C surveillance program. Apply by March 27.

Viral Hepatitis Prevention Coordinator – Austin, TX 

Under direction of the Prevention Unit, provides highly advanced, senior-level consultative services and technical assistance as the DSHS viral hepatitis prevention coordinator. Oversees implementation and maintenance of viral hepatitis prevention efforts by identifying ways to integrate viral hepatitis prevention, vaccination, testing, and linkage to care into existing public health, clinical care, and community settings. Responsible for developing a DSHS viral hepatitis prevention plan as well as legislatively-mandated plans, including working with branch staff to solicit input from the public, including experts on Hepatitis, on the tenets of the plan. Apply by April 23. 

Program Content and Training Specialist, Supporting Harm Reduction Programs (SHaRP) – University of Washington 

This position is part of a cooperative agreement award from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to provide technical assistance about monitoring and evaluation to syringe services programs (SSPs) as part of the National Harm Reduction Technical Assistance Center. One of the primary projects of this award is to provide technical assistance (TA) to SSPs for monitoring and evaluation activities. The University of Washington is working in collaboration with the CDC, SAMHSA, NASTAD, the National Harm Reduction Coalition, and other TA partners to provide a suite of technical assistance support to individual programs.  

Communicable Disease Epidemiologist – Cheyenne, Wyoming 

This position will serve as the Communicable Disease AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) Coordinator, Wyoming TB Controller, and Disease Intervention Specialist (DIS) for the Communicable Disease (CD) Treatment Program.  Assist in outbreak response to ensure the safety of Wyoming residents; by interviewing cases for exposure information, updating news outlets on the progress of outbreak control, analyzing exposure data utilizing epidemiological and statistical methods. 

Open Positions – New York State 

The New York State Department of Health, in partnership with Health Research, Inc, has various job openings, including some within the AIDS Institute. Please visit this link to learn about their current opportunities.

News Bulletin 

Why Portland failed where Portugal succeeded in decriminalizing drugs 

“America’s first experiment in treating hard drugs as a public health problem, rather than one for the police, looks like it’s about to end. The Oregon Legislature has voted to repeal the state’s three-year-old law decriminalizing drug possession for personal use this month, joining cities from San Francisco to Washington, D.C., that are adopting new tough-on-drugs policies. Democratic Gov. Tina Kotek is expected to sign the bill, passed after a surge in fatal overdoses and public drug use, in the coming days.” 

US tuberculosis cases rise for third year in a row: CDC 

“Tuberculosis rates in the U.S. rose by 16 percent in 2023, marking the third year that cases went up following nearly 30 years of decline. In the most recent Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of TB cases in 2023 totaled at 9,615, a jump of 1,295 over 2022.” 

Biden expands window to try and keep millions more low-income Americans insured 

“President Joe Biden is widening a critical window for low-income Americans to join Obamacare, in a move aimed at reinforcing a central element of his reelection bid: That he presided over a historic expansion of health care coverage. Tens of millions of people eliminated from Medicaid would now have until Nov. 30 to sign up for new coverage under a plan to be announced Thursday by the Department of Health and Human Services and first shared with POLITICO — an extension from the July 31 deadline initially set for the special enrollment period.”