Newsletter: Policy

Policy Updates: Hill Happenings and Administration Activities

Hill Happenings 

FY2024 Appropriations 

Lawmakers are increasingly grappling with the possibility of a government shutdown after persistent spending disagreements have left appropriators with less than a week to finalize the first tranche of Fiscal Year 2024 (FY2024) spending bills by March 1. On January 19, Congress approved a third continuing resolution (CR) (H.R. 2872) for FY2024, which “laddered” deadlines for federal spending bills to grant lawmakers more time to finalize FY2024 spending levels. Some federal agencies and programs face a March 1 deadline, but the spending bills for larger agencies, including those funded through the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (LHHS) bill, are not due until March 8. 

On January 27, Senate Appropriations Chair Patty Murray (D-WA) and House Appropriations Chair Kay Granger (R-TX-12) reached an agreement on topline spending totals for the 12 Fiscal Year 2024 (FY2024) appropriations subcommittee bills. However, progress on drafting the subcommittee bills has slowed as House Republicans push for controversial policy riders and dispute a Senate-approved supplemental spending bill that packages financial and military aid for Ukraine, Israel, and the southern border.

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

Administration Activities 

New CDC NOFO PS24-0047: High-Impact HIV Prevention and Surveillance Programs for Health Departments 

On February 9, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published PS24-0047High-Impact HIV Prevention and Surveillance Programs for Health Departments on This notice of funding opportunity (NOFO) will provide HIV prevention and surveillance funding to 60 health departments previously supported by PS18-1802. An additional 32 awards are available for eligible health departments previously funded under PS20-2010 as part of EHE. CDC shared funding tables that lists anticipated funding ranges for budget period one and subsequent budget periods for PS24-0047 and for Ending EHE activities for eligible jurisdictions. Applications are due by Monday, April 29, 2024, no later than 11:59 PM ET

USPSTF Posts Final Research Plan on Screening for HIV 

On February 22, the US Preventive Services Task Force released the final research plan on screening for HIV. USPSTF accepted public comments for the plan from November 30, 2023, to January 3, 2024, and took them into consideration as it finalized the research plan. Following the evidence review on screening for HIV in nonpregnant persons ages 13 years or older, USPSTF will issue a draft recommendation statement to update the current recommendation statement, which was issued in 2019 and granted an A Grade for HIV screening in adolescents and adults aged 15 to 65 years.


The Network for Public Health Law: Changing State Policy to Promote Stronger Opioid Antagonists: Unnecessary and Potentially Harmful 

“The increasing need for access to naloxone to reverse opioid-related overdoses has drawn the interest of pharmaceutical companies who see an opportunity to market new, non-generic, and more potent opioid antagonist products. State lawmakers have made changes in policy based on these marketing efforts. However, early research suggests that these high dose drugs are unnecessary and pose significant risks and side-effects, raising concerns over the commercialization of harm reduction efforts in the U.S.” 

CDC Webinar: Overdoses Involving Xylazine Mixed with Fentanyl: Clinical and Public Health Implications 

Date: February 29, at 2:00 pm ET 

“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center for Injury Prevention and Control’s (NCIPC) Division of Overdose Prevention is hosting a Clinician Outreach and Community Activities (COCA) webinar covering the latest guidance to clinicians regarding the emerging threat of xylazine mixed with fentanyl, the epidemiology of overdoses involving xylazine mixed with fentanyl, and treatment strategies.” 

Job Postings 

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, and 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 

‘Fourth Wave’ of Opioid Epidemic Crashes Ashore, Propelled by Fentanyl and Meth 

“The United States is knee-deep in what some experts call the opioid epidemic’s “fourth wave,” which is not only placing drug users at greater risk but is also complicating efforts to address the nation’s drug problem. These waves, according to a report out today from Millennium Health, began with the crisis in prescription opioid use, followed by a significant jump in heroin use, then an increase in the use of synthetic opioids like fentanyl. The latest wave involves using multiple substances at the same time, combining fentanyl mainly with either methamphetamine or cocaine, the report found.” 

Surge in Syphilis Cases Leads Some Providers to Ration Penicillin 

“Nationwide, syphilis rates are at a 70-year high. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Jan. 30 that 207,255 cases were reported in 2022, continuing a steep increase over five years. Between 2018 and 2022, syphilis rates rose about 80%. The epidemic of sexually transmitted infections — especially syphilis — is “out of control,” said the National Coalition of STD Directors…But this already difficult situation was complicated last spring by a shortage of a specific penicillin injection that is the go-to treatment for syphilis. The ongoing shortage is so severe that public health agencies have recommended that providers ration the drug — prioritizing pregnant patients, since it is the only syphilis treatment considered safe for them.” 

R.I.P. Hydeia Broadbent, 39, an Outspoken HIV Advocate Since Childhood 

“Hydeia Broadbent, who was born with HIV and who triumphed as a groundbreaking activist since childhood, has died. She was 39… She died in her sleep of natural causes on February 20, according to Essence. Broadbent became a groundbreaking voice for people living with HIV, notably for Black children and women and especially for people born with the virus, a group now referred to as lifetime survivors.” 

Is Housing Health Care? State Medicaid Programs Increasingly Say ‘Yes’ 

“States are plowing billions of dollars into a high-stakes health care experiment that’s exploding around the country: using scarce public health insurance money to provide housing for the poorest and sickest Americans…At least 19 states are directing money from Medicaid — the state-federal health insurance program for low-income people — into housing aid and addressing the nation’s growing homelessness epidemic, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.”