Newsletter: Policy

Policy Updates: Hill Happenings and Administration Activities

Hill Happenings

FY2025 Appropriations

House appropriators have advanced six of the 12 fiscal year 2025 (FY2025) subcommittee spending bills after approving topline spending levels on May 23.

Democrats panned the proposals, which called for lower totals than the statutory spending caps negotiated during the bipartisan debt limit compromise. If approved, the House Appropriations Committee (HAC) bills would slash the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies (LHHS) budget by 11%. However, the House version must be approved by the Senate, which is unlikely to approve budget cuts that exceed the statutory spending caps.

Additionally, the HAC is moving forward with an ambitious schedule to pass FY2025 spending bills by the August recess. A House subcommittee markup on the LHHS bill is set for June 27, with a full committee markup scheduled for July 10. The HAC is aiming to finalize the bills by the week of July 29.

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

Hepatitis Caucus Encourage CMS to Improve Hep B Vaccine Access

On June 10, the Congressional Hepatitis Caucus sent a letter to Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) urging them to expand hepatitis B virus (HBV) vaccination access for seniors. 15 lawmakers signed on to the letter, calling on CMS to leverage the 2025 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) rulemaking process to expand the mass immunizer program to include HBV preventive vaccines. HBV vaccines are the only preventive vaccine covered under Medicare Part B that are excluded from the mass immunizer program and require a physician order, posing barriers to vaccine access. The lawmakers highlight the proposed expansion as a critical step to eliminating the public health threat of HBV in the US.

CBO Calls for New Research for HCV Treatment

On June 14, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a report providing an initial analysis of the potential federal budgetary effects of two policies that would increase treatment of HCV. The CBO found that savings from health care costs that would be avoided by increased hepatitis C treatment would more than offset direct spending on that treatment. The researchers underscored that outreach would be necessary to substantially increase testing and treatment rates. Additionally, CBO released a call for new research in order to inform further analysis to determine the effects of proposed federal policies, such as a national treatment program.

Administration Activities

CDC Updates National HIV Testing Day Resources

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will observe National HIV Testing Day (NTHD) on June 27. NHTD is a day to emphasize and encourage HIV testing. This year’s theme is “Level up your self-love: check your status.” Self-love is about people valuing themselves, showing themselves compassion and respect, and honoring their needs. HIV testing is an act of self-love because it gives people the information that they need to stay healthy. To help you prepare for NHTD, use the social media content included in CDC’s HIV Awareness Day Library, as well as the Together campaign’s testing resources, such as posters, banners, palm cards, and more. This NHTD, encourage your audiences to prioritize their well-being by getting tested.


NIH/Coalition for Global Hepatitis Elimination Webinar: Leaving No One Behind: Community Partnerships in Reducing Hepatitis Disparities

Date: Thursday, June 20 from 11-12:30 PM ET

In this webinar, researchers and community leaders will share how to best approach, develop, and maintain trust, value, and collaboration to produce high quality community services and research that have been shown to be effective in reducing the burden of hepatitis. Research-community partnerships addressing Hepatitis B (HBV) and C (HCV) elimination in populations with health disparities will be featured. Panelists will provide commentary and a moderated discussion will include important and timely considerations of innovative community-based care models that are needed to help advance progress to reach HCV elimination targets by 2030 among all populations in the U.S. and its territories.

HRSA HAB Webinar: Innovative HIV Care Strategies for Individuals Who Are Not In Care or Have a New HIV Diagnosis

Date: Thursday, June 27 from 2:00-3:30 pm ET

Join HRSA HIV/AIDS Bureau for an exciting webinar featuring two groundbreaking interventions that are transforming HIV care: Linkage, Integration, Navigation, and Comprehensive Services (LINCS) and HIV Clinical Pharmacist Services. These initiatives address specific challenges faced by people with HIV and are revolutionizing our strategies for providing comprehensive care and support. The interventions include:

  • Linkage, Integration, Navigation, and Comprehensive Services (LINCS) Navigation used three sources of data to identify people not in care: HIV surveillance data, healthcare provider referrals, and electronic health record (EHR) data. LINCS navigators then used disease intervention searching tools and EHR data to locate clients and connect them to an HIV care provider, following up with clients for 90 days to support engagement in care. LINCS participants were more likely to be retained in care and virally suppressed after the intervention.
  • HIV Clinical Pharmacist Services shortens the time between referral to and engagement in care by allowing newly referred clients to see pharmacists in addition to other clinical providers for their initial appointment. In addition to significantly decreasing the time between referral and initial visit, clients who saw a pharmacist also experienced shortened time to antiretroviral therapy (ART) initiation and viral suppression compared to those who only saw non-pharmacist providers.

CE credit is available for individuals who attend the live webinar. To learn more about CE credits offered through the IHIP webinar series, visit:


The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) issued two funding opportunities supported by the Minority AIDS Initiative (MAI). In one, SAMHSA is seeking applications for $5.7 million to support substance use prevention and treatment services that adopt a syndemic approach for racial and ethnic minority individuals at risk for or living with HIV. In the other, SAMHSA announced the availability of $2.6 million to expand the number of programs delivering integrated, primary care, behavioral health, infectious disease, and harm reduction services to people experiencing unsheltered homelessness using a portable clinical care approach.

  • MAI Substance Use Disorder Prevention and Treatment Pilot Program
    • SAMHSA anticipates awarding up to eight programs of up to $700,000 per year for up to five years. At least one award will be made to American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) tribes, or tribal organizations pending sufficient application volume. Applications are due Friday, July 12, 2024.
  • MAI: Integrated Behavioral Health and HIV Care for Unsheltered Populations Pilot Project
    • A total of $2.6 million is available to support up to four programs with awards of up to $650,000 per year for up to three years. One award will be made to an applicant serving people experiencing unsheltered homelessness in a rural area, pending sufficient application volume. Applications are due July 8, 2024.

Job Opportunities

Integrated Care Behavioral Health Clinician – Grand Junction, CO

The Behavioral Health Clinician is responsible for assessing and responding to requests for mental health or substance use/addictions counseling for people living with HIV/AIDS and as well as other underserved individuals. This position helps manage group-counseling services including oversight of volunteer facilitators, scheduling, group admissions, advertising and evaluation.

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

Americans With HIV Are Living Longer. Federal Spending Isn’t Keeping Up.

“More than half of the people living with HIV in the United States are, like Reid, older than 50. Researchers estimate that 70% of people living with the virus will fall in that age range by 2030. Aging with HIV means an increased risk of other health problems, such as diabetes, depression, and heart disease, and a greater chance of developing these conditions at a younger age. Yet the U.S. health care system isn’t prepared to handle the needs of the more than half a million people — those already infected and those newly infected with HIV — who are 50 or older, say HIV advocates, doctors, government officials, people living with HIV, and researchers.”

I cried tears of loss and rage at the World Hepatitis Summit

“I cried because I was being recognized for “improving the lives of people living with viral hepatitis” just as a World Health Organization report, released at the same conference two days earlier, told a discouraging story about this disease. Across 187 countries, deaths from viral hepatitis have been increasing, one of the few infectious diseases where the situation is getting worse, not better. The number of deaths increased from 1.1 million deaths in 2019 to 1.3 million in 2022. Of these, 83% were caused by hepatitis B and 17% by hepatitis C.”

VT Safe Consumption Site Bill Dies, One Vote Short of Overturning Veto

“The Vermont General Assembly failed to gather enough votes to overturn the governor’s veto of a safe consumption site (SCS) pilot, ending the push to authorize SCS for now. After the House voted in favor of overturning the veto, only 19 senators voted to do the same. They needed at least 20.”