Newsletter: Policy

Policy Updates: Hill Happenings and Administration Activities

Hill Happenings 

Fiscal Year 2023 Appropriations  

On June 8, the House of Representatives approved a deeming resolution (H.R. 1151) that sets a $1.6 trillion topline spending cap for the Fiscal Year 2023 (FY2023) appropriations package, kicking of the spending process in the lower chamber. Although appropriators may not stick to the budgetary total established in the deeming resolution, the bill allows House committee staff to start drafting bill text and move the appropriations process forward in the absence of a bipartisan budget resolution.

Additionally, House Appropriations Chair Rosa DeLauro (D-CT-03) announced the Committee’s schedule for marking up the FY2023 bills. The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies is expected to markup its bill on June 23, which will then be taken up by the full Appropriations Committee on June 30.

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 

National HIV Testing Day 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) observes National HIV Testing Day (NHTD) annually on June 27, and the theme for 2022 is "HIV Testing is Self-care." For many people, taking an HIV test is taking care of themselves because knowing their status gives them powerful information to help them stay healthy. This NHTD, you can emphasize and encourage HIV testing by sharing ready-to-use content from the Let's Stop HIV Together NHTD toolkit.

Biden Administration Drops Appeal Against Federal Court Ruling that Strikes Down DOD Laws That Discriminate Against PLWH 

On June 7, the Biden Administration announced that it would not challenge a federal court’s ruling that found the Department of Defense’s (DOD) policies barring PLWH from deploying and commissioning as officers in the U.S. military unconstitutional. The DOD Defense Secretary issued a memorandum detailing the changes in DOD regulations that would ensure that the department’s policies are in compliance with federal law. Specifically, the Defense Secretary confirmed that “individuals who have been identified as HIV-positive, are asymptomatic, and who have clinically confirmed undetectable viral load will have no restrictions applied to their deployability or to their ability to commission while a Service member solely on the basis of their HIV-positive status.” Advocates cheered the Administration’s decision to not appeal the case, citing the outdated nature of the discriminatory policy.


National Harm Reduction Technical Assistance Center (NHRTAC) Info Session 

Date: Monday, June 13 from 3-4 pm ET 

NASTAD is pleased to announce that on Monday, June 13 from 3-4 PM ET, CDC and SAMHSA will host an information session about the National Harm Reduction Technical Assistance Center (NHRTAC). The eight NHRTAC providers, including NASTAD, seek to build on proven methods of harm reduction technical assistance delivery—programmatic resources, peer support and mentoring, demonstration, and program models—to provide coordinated TA to new and established community-led harm reduction efforts, including syringe services programs (SSPs) across the United States and territories.  

CDC MMWR: Characteristics of Adults Aged ≥18 Years Evaluated for Substance Use and Treatment Planning — United States, 2019 

CDC MMWR: Monkeypox Outbreak — Nine States, May 2022 

CDC Report: Adolescent Behaviors and Experiences Survey 

CDC Campaign: Think. Test. Treat TB 

CDC Issue Brief: HIV and Transgender Communities 

CDC Issue Brief: The Role of HIV Self-Testing in Ending the HIV Epidemic 

SAMHSA NOFO: State Opioid Response Grant Program 

SAMHSA is announcing a State Opioid Response (SOR) grant funding opportunity that will provide nearly $1.5 billion to states and territories to help address the Nation’s opioid addiction and overdose epidemic. The SOR grant program provides formula funding to states and territories for increasing access to FDA-approved medications for the treatment of Opioid Use Disorder (OUD), and for supporting prevention, harm reduction, treatment, and recovery support services for OUD and other concurrent substance use disorders (SUD). Applications are due July 18. 

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. 

ASTHO Resource: Cross-Jurisdictional Data Sharing: Legal, Practical, and Ethical Considerations for Improved Infectious Disease Cluster Response 

NCSL Resource: State Actions on Infectious Diseases Save Lives and Money

Job Postings 

Program Associate, Harm Reduction – AIDS United 

AIDS United is seeking a Program Associate to provide administrative support and coordination to the organization’s Expanding Syringe Services Programs Capacity to Respond to COVID-19 initiative. This project supports syringe services programs to effectively respond to COVID-19 among people who use drugs with services including vaccination education, referral and linkage, navigation services. 

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.  

Social Innovations Team Lead – Baltimore, MD 

Baltimore City Health Department is seeking to fill the position of the Social Innovations Team Lead for the Bureau of Clinical Services and HIV/STI Prevention. The HIV/STI Social Innovations Team is a unique and visionary program at Baltimore City Health Department that utilizes a human-centered design approach to engage with the Baltimore community on issues related to HIV and Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) prevention.  The team creates innovative, original, and engaging programming to involve the community in the heart of the Health Department’s work.  

Director of Operations – Boston, MA 

The Bureau of Infectious Disease and Laboratory Sciences (BIDLS) at the Department of Public Health (DPH) is seeking an experienced leader who is eager to join a mission-driven and fast-paced team in effectively and efficiently supporting the day-to-day operational needs of BIDLS.  The selected candidate will provide direct and indirect supervision to a total of 55 staff, including 5 Managers, and will oversee an annual budget in excess of $500M. To be successful, the incumbent of this position must be detail-oriented and also must understand the complexities of systems change and implementation in government systems, with the ability to ensure alignment with the Bureau’s and Department’s mission, goals, and objectives. 

Project Data Manager, Syringe Service Program – University of Washington 

We are hiring for a Project Data Manager (Research Consultant) to work closely with the principal investigator, project coordinator, survey site staff, CDC personnel, and other support staff to enact all data-related components of Project NEXUS. This position will supervise the NEXUS data team, including two research assistants, lead data analysis, and be the main point of contact for the CDC data management team. They will also provide support for the Dave Purchase Memorial Survey and the National Harm Reduction TA Center as needed.

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

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 

Biden says he is weighing executive orders on abortion rights 

“President Biden said late Wednesday that he is considering signing an executive order on abortion rights if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade later this month, offering a window into the administration’s thinking as officials prepare for the ruling... Biden did not expand on what executive orders he is considering. He also urged voters to vote Republicans out of office come November so that Democrats can pass federal legislation codifying Roe v. Wade.”   

Monkeypox Could Be Nothing—Or It Could Be the Next Syphilis 

“Where, exactly, is the outbreak headed? When I asked five experts for their predictions, they would say only one thing for certain: Monkeypox is not the next COVID-19. It’s simply not transmissible enough to cause infections on the scale of the pandemic, nor does it seem to be a particularly deadly virus. (None of the 1,200 patients has died so far.) But beyond that, their views ranged widely: The outbreak may be over before we know it; or it might become a modest, intermittent problem; or it could transform into an ever-present risk and inconvenience, like the next genital herpes. Here are three possible paths monkeypox could take.” 

Hep C Outreach and Anonymity at Harm Reduction Vending Machines 

“Vending machines have proven to be an unexpected but largely successful harm reduction tool in numerous countries…New research out of Australia, published in the Harm Reduction Journal, suggests that the vending machine sites could be a point of contact between people who use drugs and hepatitis C testing and treatment. In short, members of medical or harm reduction organizations could set up near the machines and offer people referrals or contact details for hepatitis C services.”