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.

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 

New Campaign Seeks to Improve Health of People With HIV  

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has launched a national campaign called “I am a Work of ART,” to encourage people with HIV who are not in care to seek and stay in care and achieve viral suppression. The campaign features individuals with HIV from different backgrounds—cisgender, transgender, Black, Latino, American Indian, younger, and older—who share their stories about living and thriving as a “Work of ART.” 

HHS Awards $115 Million to Support Ending the HIV Epidemic Initiative  

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) awarded nearly $115 million to 60 recipients to help implement the Ending the HIV Epidemic in the U.S. (EHE) initiative. Awards will support innovative strategies that help people with HIV access care, support, and treatment services to live longer healthier lives. 

Awards fund 60 recipients linking people with HIV to essential care, support, and treatment, and providing workforce training and technical assistance. They include: 

  • Nearly $103 million to 39 metropolitan areas and eight states (Mississippi, Kentucky, Missouri, South Carolina, Alabama, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Ohio) to implement strategies and interventions to provide core medical and support services to reduce new HIV infections in the U.S.; 
  • $4 million to provide workforce capacity development and technical assistance to 11 Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program AIDS Education and Training Centers Programs across the country; and 
  • $8 million to two non-profit organizations to support grantees with technical assistance and health care and social systems coordination. 

A list of the FY 2022 HRSA HIV/AIDS Bureau (HAB) EHE award recipients can be found here.

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 (Together) NHTD toolkit.


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. 

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, and 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 

State employee chosen for national Minority Leadership Program 

“Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) employee Stephanie Washington will attend the 2022-23 Minority Leadership Program, presented through the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD). 

"I am honored and humbled to be accepted into NASTAD'S 2022 Minority Leadership Program," Washington said. "This is an esteemed opportunity for professionals of color working in HIV/AIDS and viral hepatitis programs.” 

Next-Generation Viral Load Test Detects HIV at Lower Levels 

“Viral load testing is a mainstay of HIV care. People who achieve and maintain viral suppression experience slower disease progression, are less likely to develop opportunistic illnesses and have better overall health. What’s more, people with an undetectable viral load don’t transmit HIV to others (dubbed treatment as prevention, or Undetectable Equals Untransmittable). Over the years, as technology has improved, the viral load level usually considered “undetectable” has fallen from 200 down to 50 or 20. Tests used in clinical trials of new drugs and in HIV cure research can measure even lower levels—down to a single copy of viral RNA—but these are not routinely used in clinical practice. Noting that low-level viremia (virus in the blood) can often be detected in HIV-positive people on antiretroviral therapy, Marc Wirden, of Sorbonne Université and INSERM in Paris, and colleagues assessed the impact of switching from the widely used Cobas AmpliPrep/COBAS TaqMan assay to the newer Cobas 6800 system, which has a lower limit of detection.” 

World Hepatitis Summit Urges Global Elimination of Viral Hepatitis 

“The World Hepatitis Summit 2022 will renew commitments with global partners to eliminate viral hepatitis worldwide by 2030. Since the 2016 World Health Assembly, countries have succeeded in reducing the incidence of hepatitis B in children under 5 and increasing the number of people receiving treatment for hepatitis C 10-fold. However, whether due to lack of awareness or political commitment or stigma, most countries failed to meet other 2020 targets, including timely access to the birth dose of the hepatitis B vaccine, which is low in many low- and middle-income countries.”