Newsletter: Policy

Policy Updates: Hill Happenings and Administration Activities

Hill Happenings

FY2025 Appropriations

Appropriators are working to advance fiscal year 2025 (FY2025) spending proposals following the completion of the FY2024 package on March 23. On April 11, newly appointed House Appropriations Committee (HAC) Chair Tom Cole (R-OK-04) released programmatic and language request guidance for FY2025, enabling member offices to submit funding requests for federal programs. Rep. Cole has signaled that he wants to work quickly to close out this year’s spending process, but FY2025 negotiations may be complicated by lingering partisan disagreements and the statutory spending caps put in place by the bipartisan debt limit compromise.

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 Calls on Congress to Increase Funding for Domestic HIV/AIDS Programs

On April 16, NASTAD and the Federal AIDS Policy Partnership (FAPP) called on Congress to increase funding for domestic HIV/AIDS programs. The coalition highlighted the gains made over the past decades to prevent HIV transmission and mortality, including the success of DAA treatment, PrEP for HIV prevention, and syndemic approaches to care, and urged lawmakers to protect investments in FY2025. In particular, the coalition requested increased funds for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program and Community Health Centers, the Indian Health Service (IHS), and National Institutes of Health (NIH) Center for AIDS Research.

Administration Activities

HRSA Finalizes 340B Administrative Dispute Resolution Regulation

On April 19, HRSA published a final rule, 340B Drug Pricing Program; Administrative Dispute Resolution Regulation, that sets forth the requirements and procedures for the 340B Program's administrative dispute resolution (ADR) process. The ADR process was implemented to resolve claims by covered entities that they have been overcharged for covered outpatient drugs by manufacturers, and claims by manufacturers after the manufacturer has conducted an audit of a covered entity and found that it violated the prohibition on diversion or duplicate discounts. The rule goes into effect on June 18, 2024. HRSA will provide additional information, including a webinar, in the coming weeks on filing a claim.

CMS Launches MIPS Improvement Activity for HIV Prevention

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Quality Payment Program launched a new improvement activity for their Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) Program for HIV Prevention Improvement, Improving Practice Capacity for HIV Prevention Services. The new Improvement Activity aims to establish policies and procedures to improve practice capacity to increase HIV prevention screening, improve HIV prevention education and awareness, and reduce disparities in pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) uptake. Click here to access resources produced by ViiV Healthcare on the MIPS improvement activity.


PHAB Webinar: STI Prevention Allocation Consequences Estimator (SPACE Tool 2.0)

The STI Prevention Allocation Consequences Estimator (SPACE Tool 2.0) is an updated, user-friendly spreadsheet tool to help health departments estimate the impact of changes in their sexually transmitted infections (STI) prevention budgets. Join the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) for an informative webinar to learn more about the tool and how recent updates better reflect the needs of jurisdictions today.

JAMA: What is hepatitis D infection?

HepVu: Injection-involved Overdose Mortality

HepVu — a leading organization that visualizes viral hepatitis data and makes it widely available—released data on injection-involved overdose mortality—or the percentage of overdose deaths that were injection-involved—at the state level in 2020. The data show that while injection drug overdose mortality has increased dramatically nationwide, this trend is particularly evident in certain states. These findings are based on the paper “Estimated Number of Injection-Involved Overdose Deaths in US States from 2000 to 2020: Secondary Analysis of Surveillance Data,” published on April 5, 2024, in JMIR Public Health and Surveillance.” 

SAGE Webinar Series: Older Americans Act

“SAGE is hosting a three-part webinar series to answer questions on the Older Americans Act (OAA) and what programs they fund, who’s eligible, and even how our community is going to be treated when people walk in the door.”

  • May 2, 2024 at 3pm ET: Demystifying the Older Americans Act for People Living with HIV
  • May 9, 2024 at 3pm ET : Demystifying the Older Americans Act for LGBTQ+ People
  • May 16, 2024 at 3pm ET: Empowering Activists to Advance an Older Americans Act for ALL

GAO Report: Mpox Response Highlights Need for HHS to Address Recurring Challenges

“GAO is making two recommendations to HHS: to develop and implement a coordinated, department-wide after-action program that (1) encourages after-action collaboration across HHS component agencies, and (2) includes relevant external stakeholders involved in each response when identifying challenges and associated solutions. HHS concurred with both recommendations.”

Job Opportunities

Integrated Care Behavioral Health Clinician – Grand Junction, CO

The Behavioral Health Clinician is responsible for assessing and responding to requests for mental health or substance use/addictions counseling for people living with HIV/AIDS and as well as other underserved individuals. This position helps manage group-counseling services including oversight of volunteer facilitators, scheduling, group admissions, advertising and evaluation.

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

As Syphilis Cases Soar in Newborns, ACOG Advises More Testing During Pregnancy

“With syphilis cases in U.S. newborns skyrocketing, a doctors group now recommends that all pregnant patients be screened three times for the sexually transmitted infection.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) issued new guidance on Thursday saying the screening should be done at the first prenatal visit, during the third trimester, and at birth. Though the screening isn't required, health professionals generally follow the group's recommendations.”

Long-Acting Drugs May Revolutionize H.I.V. Prevention and Treatment

“A pill taken once a week. A shot administered at home once a month. Even a jab given at a clinic every six months. In the next five to 10 years, these options may be available to prevent or treat H.I.V. Instead of drugs that must be taken daily, scientists are closing in on longer-acting alternatives — perhaps even a future in which H.I.V. may require attention just twice a year, inconceivable in the darkest decades of the epidemic…Long-acting therapies may obviate the need to remember to take a daily pill to prevent or treat H.I.V. And for some patients, the new drugs may ease the stigma of the disease, itself an obstacle to treatment.”

Novel Chlamydia Vaccine Shows Promise in Early Trial

“An investigational vaccine against chlamydia (CTH522) induced neutralizing antibodies in all participants who received it, and with no major safety concerns, results of a phase I trial showed. A 100% fourfold seroconversion rate occurred in all groups receiving CTH522, a recombinant vaccine containing the major outer membrane of Chlamydia trachomatis, with no seroconversion in placebo recipients, reported Katrina Pollock, PhD, of Imperial College London, and colleagues.”

Mayor Parker proposes cutting nearly $1 million in syringe exchange funding for Prevention Point

“Mayor Cherelle L. Parker’s administration wants the city to cut nearly $1 million dollars of funding to Prevention Point, a large social services organization in Kensington, as part of her promise to end the city’s financial support of programs that provide sterile syringes to people who use drugs. Yet health experts in her own administration acknowledged that research shows syringe exchanges effectively prevent the spread of HIV and other bloodborne illnesses — and that they’re preparing for a spike in disease.”

Small gift cards can be a key tool to stop stimulant addiction, but stigma stands in the way

“Contingency management uses positive reinforcement as a behavioral treatment for stimulant addiction. People are rewarded with small-value gift cards or vouchers for submitting urine drug tests negative for stimulants. Decades of research show that it is the most effective treatment for stimulant addiction, but it has not been widely implemented due to policy barriers and stigma.”