Newsletter: Policy

Policy Updates: Hill Happenings and Administration Activities

Hill Happenings 

FY2024 Appropriations 

Congressional leaders are still working to finalize Fiscal Year 2024 (FY2024) appropriations, but they have reached a deal on the total allocations for each of the 12 spending bills. Congress passed a third continuing resolution (CR) (H.R. 2872) on January 19 to avoid a government shutdown, temporarily extending FY2023 funding levels while appropriators negotiate on a final FY2024 spending package. The new CR establishes a “laddered” deadline for federal spending bills, with some federal agencies and programs facing a new March 1 deadline. Larger agencies, including those funded through the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (LHHS) bill, now face a March 8 deadline, affording lawmakers just under 3 additional weeks to finalize FY2024 spending levels. 

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 Fund Health Programs in FY2024 

On January 12, NASTAD and the Partnership to End the HIV, STD, and Hepatitis Epidemics called on Congress to reject major cuts to health programs in the FY2024 spending package. The Partnership highlighted the disparities between House and Senate funding levels for health programs, highlighting the consequences that reduced funding will have on collective efforts to combat the HIV, viral hepatitis, and sexually transmitted infection (STI) epidemics. The coalition also highlighted the $400 million rescission in Disease Intervention Specialist workforce funding that was a result of the bipartisan debt limit compromise, urging Congress to reject any further cuts to the public health workforce and programs that work to improve the well-being of individuals affected by HIV, STIs, and Hepatitis. 

Administration Activities 

Harold Phillips Steps Down as ONAP Director 

Harold Phillips departed his role as the Director of the White House Office of National AIDS Policy (ONAP). Throughout his tenure, Harold worked closely with NASTAD in our mission to end HIV and intersecting epidemics. He presented at several of NASTAD’s Annual Meetings and National HIV and Hepatitis Technical Assistance Meetings, where he provided updates on the progress of the National HIV/ADS Strategy (NHAS) and the Ending the HIV Epidemic in the U.S. (EHE) Initiative. Prior to ONAP, Phillips was the Chief Operating Officer for the EHE Initiative and spent time working in HRSA’s HIV/AIDS Bureau (HAB).

New Tool for People with HIV: Medicare-Medicaid Dual Eligibility 

This tool, produced by the HRSA HAB-supported ACE TA Center, allows Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program clients to better understand the basics of Medicare-Medicaid dual eligibility, including how they became or will become dually eligible, the enrollment process, the benefits of being enrolled in both programs, how to find financial help for their health care costs, and how to fully utilize their health coverage for their HIV and non-HIV related health needs. Dual eligibility is when a person is eligible to enroll in and receive coverage from both Medicare and Medicaid, and the eligibility and enrollment specifics can sometimes be complex. The tool is available in English, Spanish, and Haitian Creole. 

National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day  

February 7 is National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD). Share the social media posts linked below to help spark conversations about HIV and highlight progress being made to reduce HIV among Black or African American people. You can also share Let’s Stop HIV Togethercampaign resources for Black audiences

Registration is now open for the National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD) Webinar, “Engage, Educate, Empower: Uniting to End HIV/AIDS in Black Communities.” Hosted by My Brother’s Keeper, the webinar will be held Wednesday, February 7, 2024, at 2:00 PM ET and will feature a panel discussion including CDC’s Division of HIV Prevention Acting Director, Dr. Robyn Neblett Fanfair.


NASTAD RFI: Existing Programming for Populations Aging with or Vulnerable to HIV 

NASTAD, as part of the 2023-2024 Chair’s Challenge, is requesting information from health departments, CBOs, and other subrecipient organizations on existing programming that addresses the specific needs of populations aging with or vulnerable to HIV. We are interested in learning about what programming your health department or organization currently has in place, or what gaps exist in your available programming, to provide services to populations aging with or vulnerable to HIV (this is inclusive of those 50+ living with HIV, Long Term Survivors, those who have been living with HIV for 20+ years, those born with HIV, and other subgroups so defined by your programs). Questions will ask you to overview existing programming, identify the funding stream(s), and contextualize the scope of the intervention or service provision.

Please complete the RFI by COB on February 9, 2024. 

CDC MMWR: National HIV Behavioral Surveillance Among Transgender Women — Seven Urban Areas, United States, 2019–2020 

Job Postings 

Senior Program Manager, Health Departments & Community Partnerships – KFF

KFF is looking for a Senior Program Manager to work “with state and local health departments on localized iterations of our campaigns designed to address local priorities and extend the reach of limited public resources. We also have a large-scale ongoing partnership with Walgreens to bring health department and  community partners into stores on National HIV Testing Day (June 27) to provide free testing and the latest information about prevention and treatment.” 

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 

The Supreme Court will decide whether local anti-homeless laws are ‘cruel and unusual’ 

“The Supreme Court agreed Friday to review lower-court rulings that make it harder for cities in the western United States to prevent people from sleeping on the streets when there aren’t enough beds in homeless shelters. The justices will hear an appeal from the city of Grants Pass, in southwest Oregon, that has the backing of California Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, as well as other Democratic and Republican elected officials who have struggled to deal with homelessness brought on by rising housing costs and income inequality.” – AP News

A call to add sexual orientation and gender identity data to electronic health records 

“In a paper published Wednesday in JAMA Cardiology, a group of cardiologists write that there is an urgent need to begin collecting SOGIE data more systematically across electronic health records, public databases, registries, and clinical trials.” – STAT 

Syphilis cases up 244% in Minnesota in last decade, health department says 

“Health officials in Minnesota are warning about a surging infection spreading from mothers to babies. The Minnesota Department of Health says 29 babies were born with congenital syphilis last year — the highest number in more than 40 years. 

Overall cases of syphilis are up 244% in Minnesota in the last decade. Among women, early syphilis cases have increased by over 1,800%, according to MDH.” – CBS News