Newsletter: Policy

Policy Updates: Hill Happenings and Administration Activities

Hill Happenings

Fiscal Year 2022 Appropriations  

Democrats on the Hill are calling on Republican appropriators to engage in appropriations negotiations in good faith as the federal funding deadline approaches. On January 13, top Democrat and Republican appropriators met to discuss the ground rules for negotiating a spending omnibus by the February 18 federal funding deadline afforded by the current continuing resolution (CR). The meeting marks the end of a months-long pause in spending discussions that resulted from a gridlocked legislative agenda.  

Although Democrats anticipate passing a Fiscal Year 2022 (FY2022) omnibus bill, Republicans are threatening to oppose any spending package and force a full-year CR to fund the government unless Democrats agree to advance a spending omnibus that is clear of controversial policy riders, including proposed language that would lift the ban on the use of federal funds to purchase syringes and sterile injection equipment. Democrats rebuke those ultimatums, calling for a robust spending negotiation on the full spectrum of policy priorities, and are pushing Republicans to provide a topline spending number. NASTAD will continue to monitor the FY2022 appropriations process to advocate for the highest funding levels on behalf of HIV and hepatitis programs. 

Administration Activities 

HHS Awards $6.6 Million to Bolster Title X Family Planning Services 

On January 21, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) awarded $6.6 million through the Title X family planning program to address the increased need for family planning services where restrictive laws and policies have impacted reproductive health access. The supplemental funding is part of a series of recent actions that HHS is undertaking to protect patients and health care providers in response to Texas Law SB 8. The announcement comes on the heels of the Supreme Court's decision to allow the Texas law to stand while the high court considers its legal merits.


NASTAD Minority Leadership Program (MLP) 

NASTAD is pleased to announce the opening of the application cycle for the 2022 Minority Leadership Program (MLP). In its eighth cycle, MLP serves as a space, rooted in social justice, for health department staff of color to engage in critical conversations and has created a launchpad for dozens of public health professionals of color to visualize and own their leadership roles in ending health inequities. MLP participation empowers fellows to engage in successful salary negotiations, gain promotions, influence culturally relevant public health strategies, and create professional connections that last a lifetime. Applications for the Minority Leadership Program 2022 Cohort are due Thursday, February 10, 2022. 

AIDS United NOFO: Conexiones Positivas: Positive Connections 

AIDS United, with funding from ViiV Healthcare, is pleased to announce the opportunity for grant support through the Conexiones Positivas: Positive Connections Initiative. For this initiative, AIDS United will provide $100,000 in low barrier grant funds to organizations supporting Hispanic/Latinx gay, bisexual and transgender men who are from communities most affected by and vulnerable to HIV. Completed RFPs must be submitted in the AIDS United grantee portal by 3 p.m. EST on Feb. 4, 2022. 

Job Postings 

Georgia Department of Public Health – Atlanta, GA 

  • Director, HIV/AIDS
    • The Georgia Department of Public Health seeks a highly qualified candidate for the position of Director for the HIV/AIDS Unit under the Division of Medical and Clinical Services- Infectious Disease in Atlanta, Georgia. The candidate will direct a comprehensive statewide HIV/AIDS program for the state of Georgia, including planning, organizing, developing, and directing the implementation of day-to-day activities for a multifaceted statewide public health program. Applications close February 13. 
  • Perinatal HIV Coordinator
    • The Georgia Department of Public Health seeks a highly qualified candidate for the position of Perinatal HIV Coordinator located in Atlanta, GA to join the Division of Medical and Clinical Services, Infectious Disease/HIV Section. The candidate will coordinate and implement services/activities for the education and prevention of vertical transmission of HIV from mother to baby. Applications close February 6.

HDAP Coordinator (Management Analyst III) – Boston, MA 

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) Bureau of Infectious Disease and Laboratory Sciences (BIDLS) Office of HIV/AIDS (OHA) seeks to hire a Coordinator to oversee the contract for the Massachusetts HIV Drug Assistance Program (HDAP), inclusive of the administration of over $20 million dollars of state and federal Ryan White AIDS Drug Assistance resources to cover the costs of health insurance premiums and anti-retroviral treatments for income-eligible HIV+ enrollees. Apply online with Job ID (2200000V). 

Coalition and Capacity Building Manager – National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable 

NVHR is hiring a Coalition and Capacity Building Manager to help increase the capacity of coalition members to improve viral hepatitis education, prevention, testing, linkage to care, and treatment among people who use drugs. This position will primarily support our work under CDC cooperative agreement PS21-2105 in partnership with NASTAD and NACCHO. Applications are due January 28.

Program Manager, HIV Campaigns – Advocates for Youth 

The Program Manager, HIV Campaigns will oversee the implementation of Advocates’ project with CDC’s Prevention Communication Branch. The Program Manager will lead Advocates’ efforts to implement Partnering and Communicating Together, an initiative to support the dissemination of CDC’s Let’s Stop HIV Together (Together) campaign among Black/Latinx young people, 18-24 with a focus on: male; female; trans male; trans female; and genderqueer/gender non-conforming via the use of digital and social media platforms.

Senior Public Health Investigator -- Houston, TX 

The Houston Health Department seeks 12 Senior Public Health Investigators in the Bureau of HIV/STD and Viral Hepatitis Prevention to serve as Disease Intervention Specialists, Service Linkage Workers, and Patient Navigators. These full-time positions will report to various units including HIV Field Services, STI Field Services, Congenital Syphilis Field Services, Service Linkage Field Services, and PrEP Services. Applications close March 8. 

Syringe Service Program Coordinator, Washington State DOH – Tumwater, WA 

Reporting to the Integration, Hepatitis C & Drug User Health Programs Manager, the Syringe Service Program (SSP) Coordinator provides leadership and is responsible and accountable for stakeholder engagement and mobilization efforts that increase access to and utilization of syringe service programs (SSPs) and related efforts to address health disparities and health inequities in communities disproportionately impacted by infectious disease and overdose. This recruitment is open and continuous.  

   Department of State Health Services – Austin, TX

  • Research Specialist V 
    • Under the supervision of the Group Manager, the MMP Project Coordinator/Research Specialist V performs advanced research and epidemiological work requiring specialized knowledge of health behaviors related to TB/HIV/STD transmission. Responsible for the coordination of activities involved in the implementation of the Medical Monitoring Project (MMP) in Texas. Coordinates activities related to sampling frame development, healthcare facility, provider, and patient recruitment and data collection. Prepares budget and grant documents, data collection protocols and procedures, annual, interim progress reports, and other reports required by CDC or DSHS.  
  • Program Specialist IV 
    • Under the direction and supervision of the TB/HIV/STD Surveillance Group manager and Electronic Lab Reporting (ELR) Epidemiology Team Lead, conducts activities related to data management and processing of HIV and STD laboratory reports. This position will provide technical expertise in the interpretation of laboratory data, and will be responsible for monitoring data quality of incoming laboratory reports. This position, along with the ELR Epidemiology Team Lead, will work directly with laboratories to resolve any reporting issues and improve data quality. This position will assist in the design and implementation of new and/or revised methods for receipt and dissemination of electronic data to more effectively meet HIV/STD surveillance needs.   
  • Public Health & Prevention Specialist II 
    • Public Health and Prevent Specialist II performs a variety of tasks under the direction of the STD/HCV Epidemiology and Surveillance Group Manager related to the management of HIV/STD investigational data, including database maintenance, report tracking, data entry, and quality assurance. This position will aid in development of short-term, mid-term and long-term goals and objectives, and the development of standards for achieving strategic operational goals. Exercises independent judgment and professional discretion with extensive latitude for the use of initiative and independent judgment to administrate, advise, plan, and coordinate duties. 
  • HIV/STD Director 
    • The HIV/STD Director works under the general direction of the Director of the TB/HIV/STD Section (THSS) of the 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.  

Program Analyst: HIV, STI, & Viral Hepatitis Program - Harm Reduction (NACCHO)

The Program Analyst will support projects and activities across NACCHO’s HIV, STI, and Viral Hepatitis program portfolio. In particular, the Program Analyst will support the implementation of projects designed to build local capacity and partnerships for harm reduction and the prevention and elimination of viral hepatitis. The ideal candidate will possess interest and experience in harm reduction and/or the prevention and elimination of viral hepatitis, as well as health department and harm reduction programming, public health policy, the provision of technical and capacity building assistance, monitoring and evaluation, partnership building, and project management. 

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, 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 

Gilead says counterfeit HIV drugs ended up with patients 

“Gilead Sciences Inc said an unauthorized network of drug distributors and suppliers sold pharmacies more than $250 million of counterfeit versions of its HIV treatments over the last two years, endangering patients. The drugmaker said it found 85,247 bottles that had been tampered with or faked, including versions of its Biktarvy and Descovy treatments. In a separate statement on Wednesday, Gilead said it has seized the bottles of Gilead-labeled medication from 17 locations in nine states as part of its investigation.” 

340B Program Helps Reduce Health Care Disparities 

“For qualified health systems, cost savings generated through the 340B pharmacy program provide significant opportunities to reduce health disparities…As the US moves toward a more equitable health care system, a broad coalition of community health workers, health systems, lawmakers, pharmacies, and professional health agencies agree that the 340B program will continue to play a critical role in promoting healthier communities and reducing health disparities.” 

Black and Latino Folks Are Less Likely to Be Referred for PrEP 

“In 2019, Black and Latino Americans who tested negative for HIV were the least likely to be referred to clinicians who could provide pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), according to data published in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Despite accounting for 71% of all new HIV diagnoses that year, Black and Latino people accounted for only 42% of PrEP referrals.”