Newsletter: Policy

Policy Updates: Hill Happenings and Administration Activities

Hill Happenings 

Fiscal Year 2023 Appropriations  

Top appropriators are moving to advance Fiscal Year 2023 (FY2023) spending discussions following the release of the President’s FY2023 Budget Request to Congress on March 28. Democrats intend to advance the spending bills on a normal timeline in order to avoid the Fiscal Year 2022 spending scenario where Congress had to issue a string of continuing resolutions to fund the government as a result of protracted spending negotiations. House lawmakers are expected to markup subcommittee spending bills in June, working to finalize a bipartisan spending package by the start of FY2023 on October 1. However, partisan battles ahead of the midterm elections could derail that timeline. 

NASTAD is monitoring the FY2023 appropriations process and will advocate for the highest possible funding levels on behalf of HIV and hepatitis programs. 

Administration Activities 

White House Releases 2022 National Drug Control Strategy 

On April 21, the Biden-Harris Administration issued its 2022 National Drug Control Strategy to Congress, calling for a whole-of-government approach to stop record-high overdose rates and end the substance use and overdose epidemic. Although the strategy focuses on two critical drivers of the epidemic, untreated addiction and drug trafficking, the President’s National Drug Control Strategy is the first-ever to champion harm reduction to meet people where they are and engage them in care and services, including calling for expanded access to evidence-based treatments and high-impact interventions that have been shown to reduce overdose risk and mortality, like syringe service programs.

CDC Issues Infectious Disease Recommendations for Correctional and Detention Settings 

On April 18, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a set of recommendations for testing, vaccination, and treatment for HIV, viral hepatitis, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and TB in correctional and detention settings. CDC issued the recommendations to address the disproportionate disease burden people face in correctional settings, including a higher risk for HIV, viral hepatitis, TB, and STIs because of social and economic factors, mental and substance use disorders, a history of experiences with homelessness, sex work, or injection drug use.

Hepatitis Awareness Month 

The month of May is designated as Hepatitis Awareness Month in the United States, and May 19th is Hepatitis Testing Day. During May, public health partners work with CDC to shed light on the impact of the often-hidden hepatitis epidemics by raising awareness of viral hepatitis while encouraging testing and vaccination. Hepatitis Awareness Month activities help to improve everyone’s understanding of viral hepatitis transmission and risk factors and to decrease social stigma against viral hepatitis. 

National HIV Testing Day  

On June 27 each year, we observe National HIV Testing Day (NHTD), a day to emphasize and encourage HIV testing. This year, we observe NHTD as COVID-19 and HIV epidemics continue to affect our communities, the nation, public health departments, and healthcare facilities. As we approach NHTD, we want to recognize partners for their vital services that make HIV testing simple, accessible, affordable, and routine. The NHTD theme for 2022 is “HIV Testing is Self-care.” HIV testing is an act of self-care, and knowledge of status is the gateway to engaging in prevention or treatment services that enable individuals, regardless of their status to live a long and healthy life. 


NASTAD/HBF Webinar: Universal Adult HBV Vaccination Recommendations: Updates & Policy Impacts 

Date & Time: Monday, April 25 | 3:00 pm ET 

NASTAD and the Hepatitis B Foundation are co-hosting this webinar in partnership with Hepatitis B United and Association of Immunization Managers with support from CDC's Division of Viral Hepatitis. With the recent release of CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) Universal Adult HBV Vaccination Recommendations, this webinar will highlight the importance of adult HBV vaccination as a national priority. We will discuss opportunities and challenges and share models of successful adult HBV vaccination scale up in high priority settings, both clinical and in community based organizations. 

Joint Statement from Leading HIV/AIDS and Viral Hepatitis Advocates regarding Manufacturer Action on the 340B Drug Pricing Program 

On April 20, National Alliance of State & Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD), AIDS United, National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable (NVHR), Ryan White Clinics for 340B Access (RWC-340B), The AIDS Institute (TAI), and Treatment Action Group (TAG) released a joint statement regarding recent manufacturer action against the 340B Drug Pricing Program. The coalition of advocates called out the unilateral actions by manufacturers that undermine the shared goals of health equity and viral hepatitis elimination, and urged manufacturers and HHS to support the treatment access safety-net afforded by the 340B Program.

HepNET Townhall 

Date: May 12 | 2:00 PM ET 

Register: Click here to register 

NASTAD in partnership with National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable (NVHR) and National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) are implementing and facilitating the Hepatitis Network for Education and Testing (HepNET). In collaboration, we will work with state and local health departments (LHDs), community-based organizations (CBOs), clinical providers, people with lived experience, syringe services programs (SSPs) and harm reduction programs, and other key partners to identify and address the unmet needs of people who inject drugs (PWID) and improve their access to viral hepatitis education, prevention, testing, linkage to care, and treatment. Join the townhall to learn more about HepNET.

IHS NOFO: Ending the HIV/HCV Epidemics in Indian Country: A Program for American Indian/Alaska Native Tribes and Urban Indian Communities

The Indian Health Service (IHS) is accepting applications for a cooperative agreement for the Ending the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) Epidemics in Indian Country (ETHIC) program. The purpose of this program is to support communities in reducing new human HIV infections and relevant co-morbidities, specifically STI and HCV infections, improve HIV-, STI-, and HCV-related health outcomes, and reduce HIV-, STI-, and HCV-related health disparities among American Indian and American Native people. Applications are due June 17, 2022. 

AIDS United Harm Reduction Futures Fund 

AIDS United announced the launch of the Harm Reduction Futures Fund, a refresh of the mission and vision of its nearly two decades of harm reduction grantmaking. The fund invests in evidence-based and community-driven approaches to prevent the transmission of both HIV and viral hepatitis, reduce injection-related injuries, increase overdose prevention and reversal efforts and connect people who use drugs to comprehensive prevention, treatment and support services. Be sure to join us Friday, April 15, at 12 p.m. EDT for an Instagram live conversation about this new chapter in our harm reduction work and how to prioritize harm reduction as an essential part of the work to end the HIV epidemic. 

CDC NOFO: Strengthening Syringe Services Programs 

This Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) aims to increase access to harm reduction services for people who currently inject, or have a history of injecting, drugs and reduce incidence of infectious diseases and other complications of injection drug use through two components. Click here to read a blog post from the Director of the Division of Viral Hepatitis on the new NOFO. Applications are due Monday, May 2.

CDC NOFO: Enhanced Surveillance of Persons with Early and Late HIV Diagnosis 

This NOFO will support identification and recruitment of adults with recent HIV diagnoses at stage 0 and stage 3 to improve understanding of barriers and gaps associated with new infection and late diagnosis in the era of multiple testing modalities and prevention options such as PrEP. These enhanced surveillance activities will identify actionable missed opportunities for early diagnosis and prevention, thus informing allocation of resources, development and prioritization of interventions, and evidence-based local and national decisions to improve HIV testing and address prevention gaps. Applications close April 26. 

Job Postings 

HOPWA Program Manager – Wake County, NC 

The Division of Public Health is accepting applications for a Program Coordinator IV.  The position is located in the Communicable Disease Branch-AIDS Care Program.  This Program Coordinator is responsible for managing all requirements of the HOPWA grant to ensure full compliance with HUD HOPWA program guidance, rules, and regulations.  Applications close May 9.

Viral Hepatitis Diagnostics Working Group Coordinating Consultant – Treatment Action Group (TAG) 

The Viral Hepatitis Diagnostics Working Group Coordinating consultant will work with TAG’s Policy Team and Working Group members to coordinate, facilitate, and support the WG to advance agreed policy and funding priorities and objectives. This includes drafting written materials, meeting facilitation and co-facilitation, notetaking, informing and guiding advocacy strategies, contributing to building WG consensus, engaging stakeholders and supporting educational activities such as webinars. Applications close April 26.

STD/HIV/Hepatitis Program, Louisiana Department of Health Office of Public Health 

HIV/STD Director -- Austin, TX 

The HIV/STD Director works under the general direction of the Director of the TB/HIV/STD Section (THSS) of the Department of State Health Services (DSHS). Performs advanced (senior-level) managerial work leading the day-to-day operations of the HIV/STD Prevention and Care Unit. These programs include statewide programs for HIV clinical and social services; the provision of medications for the treatment of HIV and other STDs; and HIV/STD prevention. Applications close May 9. 

Wyoming Department of Health, Public Health Division, Communicable Disease Unit 

  • Communicable Disease Unit Surveillance Program Manager – Cheyenne, Wyoming 
    • The Wyoming Department of Health, Public Health Division, Communicable Disease Unit is seeking a Communicable Disease Surveillance Program Manager for Cheyenne. This position will serve as the Communicable Disease (CD) Surveillance Program Manager and senior epidemiologist for the Communicable Disease Unit. This position oversees public health surveillance of four disease areas (HIV, STD, TB, and Viral Hepatitis).  This position will monitor disease trends and utilize surveillance data to coordinate public health activities.   
  • 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, and analyzing exposure data utilizing epidemiological and statistical methods. 

Hepatitis Surveillance Data Analyst – New Orleans, Louisiana 

This position is responsible for the data analysis activities for the Louisiana Office of Public Health STD/HIV/Hepatitis Program (SHHP), in the Hepatitis Surveillance unit. Data utilized for Hepatitis Surveillance activities include Hepatitis laboratory data, Case Report Forms, Provider Report Forms, Linkage to Cure data, investigation data, Medicaid data, and data from related sources and programs. This position will implement and coordinate data analysis activities to monitor and evaluate progress toward meeting hepatitis elimination within the state. All activities must be completed in accordance with the security and confidentiality guidelines required by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and SHHP. 

Assistant Commissioner - Health Department – Baltimore, Maryland 

The Baltimore City Health Department (BCHD) is seeking an Assistant Commissioner to lead the Bureau of Communicable Disease and Outbreak Control. This senior management position will lead a talented team responsible for communicable disease investigation, outbreak control, and emergency preparedness programming. The incumbent will also be responsible for developing and implementing agency-wide policies related to health department readiness to respond to public health emergencies. The incumbent will report directly to the Deputy Commissioner for BCHD’s Division of Population Health & Disease Prevention.    

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 

Equity-Driven Advocacy for a National PrEP Program for Uninsured People 

“When President Biden released his 2023 budget request, he generated excitement among national HIV/AIDS advocates by proposing a 10-year $9.8 billion investment in a national pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) program for uninsured Americans. The scale of the funding is reminiscent of the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program that has done so much for treatment access for people living with HIV in the United States. Given recent analyses demonstrating that improved coverage for PrEP medication and labs via special state programs or Medicaid expansion translates into significant increases in uptake, there is much to celebrate in the announcement.” 

Biden admin to rescind Trump ‘conscience’ rule for health workers 

“The Biden administration is preparing to scrap a Trump-era rule that allows medical workers to refuse to provide services that conflict with their religious or moral beliefs, three people familiar with the deliberations told POLITICO. A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human Services confirmed that the policy change is underway, saying: HHS has made clear through the unified regulatory agenda that we are in the rulemaking process.” 

N.C. becomes second U.S. state to report unusual cases of hepatitis in kids 

“Health authorities in North Carolina say they are investigating two cases of hepatitis in young children, making the state the second to report cases that appear to be linked to an outbreak that is being seen in a growing number of countries. Bailey Pennington, a spokesperson for the state’s Department of Health and Human Services, told STAT of the cases in an email on Thursday, saying the state is both conducting surveillance for other possible cases and working with its poison control center and epidemiologists to try to determine the cause of the illnesses.”