Newsletter: Policy

Policy Updates: Hill Happenings and Administration Activities

Hill Happenings

President Biden Signs Bipartisan Debt Ceiling Legislation

On June 3, President Biden signed the bipartisan Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023 (H.R. 3746) into law, averting a potentially catastrophic default on the nation’s debt just days before the projected deadline of June 5. The bill temporary suspends the federal debt limit through January 1, 2025, ending months-long negotiations over the debt limit increase, which House Republicans leveraged to force spending concessions out of Democrats. In particular, Democrats agreed to cap discretionary spending for two upcoming fiscal years starting fiscal year 2024 (FY2024), with a fiscal year 2025 (FY2025) spending cap set at 1% growth. Additionally, the bill rescinds unobligated federal COVID-19 funding and imposes work requirements for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) for able-bodied adults without dependents. It is presently unclear which COVID-19 funding will be rescinded. NASTAD is working to identify what funds will be rescinded and is working closely with NCSD to assess impact on the DIS funds.

The spending provisions included in the debt limit fix will make it difficult for Congress to raise funding levels for health programs in FY2024 and FY2025, including HIV and viral hepatitis programming operated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), and other federal agencies. Despite the fiscal constraints it implements, the Biden Administration insists that the bipartisan debt limit fix managed to avoid the inclusion of more austere spending measures that were proposed by House Republicans. With the looming debt limit crisis resolved, appropriators can now refocus their efforts on advancing FY2024 spending bills in a timely manner.

NASTAD Calls on Congress to Reject Spending Cuts

On May 12, NASTAD and the AIDS Budget and Appropriations Coalition (ABAC) sent a letter to Congress urging lawmakers to reject non-defense discretionary spending cuts that were proposed in exchange for a temporary debt limit fix via the House Limit, Save, Grow Act of 2023 (H.R.2811). If enacted, the spending cuts included in the GOP proposal would not only limit the nation’s ability to end the HIV epidemic in the United States but could reverse progress and exacerbate the impact that HIV has on communities across the country. The coalition highlighted the various critical programs housed across federal agencies that would be at risk for dramatic budget cuts, resulting in new HIV infections and poor health outcomes for people living with HIV and their communities.

NASTAD Calls on Congress to Oppose Medicaid Work Requirements in Debt Limit Bill

On May 9, NASTAD joined the Women’s Health Defense Table and called on Congress to exclude Medicaid work requirements and other program cuts from any debt ceiling or budget negotiations or legislation. Republicans increasingly called for Democrats to concede on Medicaid work requirements, among other spending demands, in exchange for a temporary debt limit fix. If implemented, the Medicaid work requirements would result in deeply harmful losses of health coverage and access for people with low incomes and medically underserved populations nationwide.

House Passes HALT Fentanyl Act

On May 25, the House of Representatives passed the HALT Fentanyl Act (H.R.467), a dangerous bill that would permanently classify fentanyl-related substances (FRS) as a Schedule I substance and expands mandatory sentencing minimums for distribution and sale of FRS. NASTAD joined a coalition of advocates in opposition to the HALT Fentanyl Act, calling on Congress to reject policy proposals that double-down on criminalization of drug users and instead embrace public health approaches to the overdose crisis. On May 22, the White House issued a Statement of Administration Policy that endorsed the permanent scheduling of FRS, reflecting the bipartisan pressure on policymakers to address the role of illicit fentanyl in the overdose crisis. The bill now moves to the upper chamber, requiring Senate approval before it becomes law.

Administration Activities

President Biden Expected to Select Mandy Cohen to Lead CDC

On June 1, news outlets reported that President Biden is expected to select Mandy Cohen to lead the CDC. If selected, Cohen would replace outgoing Director Rochelle Walensky, whose tenure will be marked for her leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic and transitioning the country out of the public health emergency. Cohen, a physician by training, served as the chief operating officer and chief of staff at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) during the Obama Administration, and later as the Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services from 2017-2021. Senate confirmation is not required to appoint the CDC Director, although the fiscal year 2023 spending package instituted a policy requiring Senate confirmation for incoming CDC Directors starting January 2025. Cohen is expected to step into the role at the end of June immediately following Director Walensky’s departure.

District Court Issues Stay that Pauses Effects of Braidwood Ruling

On May 15, the 5th Circuit appeals court issued a stay pausing the effects of a lower court’s ruling in Braidwood v Becerra that determined that the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) preventive service mandate was unconstitutional. The 5th Circuit’s stay order will allow consumers to continue receiving critical preventive care at no-cost, including cancer screenings, STI and HIV testing, and PrEP. The case will now make its way through the appeals courts without interrupting access to preventive care and will likely be decided by the Supreme Court.

National HIV Testing Day 2023

CDC observes National HIV Testing Day (NHTD) each year on June 27 to highlight the importance of HIV testing. This year’s NHTD theme is “Take the Test & Take the Next Step,” which emphasizes that knowing your HIV status helps you choose options to stay healthy. Regardless of your result, testing is an important starting point to making healthy decisions to protect yourself from HIV and STIs, such as initiating antiretroviral therapy if you are positive, or starting or continuing to use HIV and STI prevention tools like PrEP for HIV, condoms, and vaccines for other sexually transmitted diseases.

President Biden Issues Proclamation on National Hepatitis Testing Day

On May 18, President Biden announced that he would issue a presidential proclamation in observance of National Hepatitis Testing Day, held annually on May 19. The President encouraged all Americans to join in activities that will increase awareness about viral hepatitis and what we can do to prevent and treat it. Additionally, the proclamation highlighted the President’s proposed national HCV elimination program.

CDC Issues Health Alert on Potential Risk for New Mpox Cases

On May 15, CDC released a Health Alert Network (HAN) message on the Potential Risk for New Mpox Cases. The purpose HAN update informs clinicians and public health agencies about the potential for new clusters or outbreaks of mpox cases and provides resources on clinical evaluation, treatment, vaccination, and testing for mpox. In the United States, cases of mpox have declined since peaking in August 2022, but CDC continues to receive reports of cases that reflect ongoing community transmission. Although vaccine-induced immunity is not complete, vaccination continues to be one of the most important prevention measures. CDC expects new cases among previously vaccinated people to occur, but people who have completed their two-dose JYNNEOS vaccine series may experience less severe symptoms than those who have not.

President Biden Nominates Dr. Monica Bertagnolli to Lead NIH

On May 15, President Biden formally announced his intent to nominate Dr. Monica Bertagnolli as Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the world’s preeminent biomedical research organization. Dr. Bertagnolli currently leads the National Cancer Institute (NCI) since August of 2022, and will work to further implement Biden’s cancer moonshot agenda at NIH. Although Bertagnolli’s nomination is not considered controversial, she will face significant Senate scrutiny from Republicans during confirmation hearings due to the NIH’s role in managing billions in research grants and the purported role of the NIH in the unproven COVID-19 lab leak theory.

CDC Releases New HIV Surveillance Reports

On May 23, CDC published three new HIV surveillance reports to assist health departments and prevention partners in focusing prevention efforts, allocating resources, monitoring trends, and determining gaps and successes in HIV prevention. CDC released the Estimated HIV Incidence and Prevalence in the United States, 2017‒2021, which shows a 12% overall decrease in HIV infections in 2021 compared with 2017, with 34% of the decrease attributable to gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men ages 13-24 years. Data from the other reports suggest that increased reach of HIV testing, pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), and treatment among this group contributed to the decline. Additionally, the Monitoring Selected National HIV Prevention and Care Objectives by Using HIV Surveillance Data, United States and 6 Dependent Areas, 2021 report and the Diagnoses of HIV Infection in the United States and Dependent Areas, 2021 report show that HIV diagnosis rates were highest among Black/African American persons, persons aged 25‒34 years, and people in the South.

CDC Awards Grants to Improve Policy as a Public Health Intervention to Address the Syndemic

On June 1, CDC awarded funds to two nongovernmental partner organizations under the program PS23-0009: Advancing Policy as a Public Health Intervention to Reduce Morbidity, Mortality and Disparities in HIV, Viral Hepatitis, STDs, and Tuberculosis. Temple University (Philadelphia, PA) and The National Network of Public Health Institutes (New Orleans, LA) will work to provide more data, actionable strategies, and increased resources for public health leaders and will better guide public health practice through evidence-based law and policy interventions. 


NASTAD Statement: Trans Rights are Human Rights

On May 31, NASTAD issued a statement affirming the human rights of trans people amid a disturbing record of legislative attacks on gender-affirming care, the legal recognition of trans people, and classroom censorship. At NASTAD, our core values are the beliefs that every person has equal value and dignity, that access to quality healthcare is a basic human right, and that we have an obligation to dismantle systems that perpetuate social and racial injustice. As a result, NASTAD joins MPact Global and GATE in declaring homophobia and transphobia a public health crisis and advocating for the human rights of trans people, and recommits itself to protecting and advocating for the health and safety of trans people, and we call on our members and partners to do the same.

NASTAD Blog: 2023 Hepatitis Awareness Month: A Conversation with Dr. Ada Stewart, MD, FAAFP

In observance of Hepatitis Awareness Month, Dr. Isabel Lechuga, MD, MPH, Associate Director on NASTAD’s Hepatitis team, and Zakiya Grubbs, MPH, Manager on NASTAD’s Hepatitis team, interviewed Dr. Ada Stewart, MD, FAAFP. 

CHLP News Release: Exposure to HIV Removed from Offenses Requiring Sex Offender Registration in Tennessee

“On May 17, 2023, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee signed Senate Bill 0807/House Bill 832 into law after it passed the House and Senate in April. The law removes criminal exposure to HIV from the list of violent sexual offenses where a conviction required an individual to register as a sex offender for life. The law will go into effect on July 1, 2023. Tennessee is one of 30 states that have HIV-specific criminal laws. Under current Tennessee law, people living with HIV (PLHIV) or hepatitis B or C may still be charged with and convicted of a felony for engaging in sexual activities without disclosing their status. While the amended law removes the heightened penalty for exposure, it does not remove aggravated prostitution from the list of violent sexual offenses requiring registration as a sex offender, so there remains a heightened penalty for PLHIV who know their status to engage in sex work.”

CDC MMWR: Evaluation of the Cherokee Nation Hepatitis C Virus Elimination Program — Cherokee Nation, Oklahoma, 2015–2020

“Five years after implementing a hepatitis C elimination program, Cherokee Nation Health Services diagnosed 1,423 people with hepatitis C. Among the 61% of people who initiated treatment, 99% of those who completed treatment were cured.”


KFF: Mpox One Year Later: Where is the U.S. today?

“Overall, the public health system for addressing mpox in United States is in a markedly different place than it was one-year ago and is expected to be better able to respond should mpox cases rise. Additionally, providers are generally more knowledgeable about case identification and treatment and the communities most impacted have a better understanding of how to protect themselves, if cases climb. However, disparities persist and those facing structural barriers and overlapping systems of discrimination — including LGBTQ people, people of color, those with HIV, and people experiencing homelessness — are particularly at risk.”

Hep B United: HBV Community Health Center Learning Collaborative – “Getting to Protected”

The Getting to Protected module will focus on strategies for improving hepatitis B screening and vaccination, and keeping patients engaged. This virtual learning collaborative will foster a small cohort of community-based health centers, FQHCs, and/or FQHC look-alikes serving Asian American, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, African Immigrant, and/or drug-using communities in the US and/or its territories. The four sessions will be on June 28, July 5, 12 & 19 from 3-4:30pm ET. The deadline to apply is June 9 by 12:00am ET.

JAMA: Pharmacy Availability of Buprenorphine for Opioid Use Disorder Treatment in the US

“This large-scale study demonstrated limitations in buprenorphine availability at retail pharmacies at the time of a patient’s need. Only 57.9% of pharmacies reported buprenorphine/naloxone in stock at the time of request, with substantial differences observed among states and pharmacy chains in the US.”

NEJM: Vaccine Effectiveness of JYNNEOS against Mpox Disease in the United States

“In this study using nationwide EHR data, patients with mpox were less likely to have received one or two doses of JYNNEOS vaccine than control patients. The findings suggest that JYNNEOS vaccine was effective in preventing mpox disease, and a two-dose series appeared to provide better protection.”

NIH: The Economic Burden of Racial, Ethnic, and Educational Health Inequities in the US

“New research shows that the economic burden of health disparities in the United States remains unacceptably high. The study, funded by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD), part of the National Institutes of Health,  revealed that in 2018, racial and ethnic health disparities cost the U.S. economy $451 billion, a 41% increase from the previous estimate of $320 billion in 2014.“

KFF Issue Brief: Mpox One Year Later: Where is the U.S. today?

“Overall, the public health system for addressing mpox in United States is in a markedly different place than it was one-year ago and is expected to be better able to respond should mpox cases rise. Additionally, providers are generally more knowledgeable about case identification and treatment and the communities most impacted have a better understanding of how to protect themselves, if cases climb. However, disparities persist and those facing structural barriers and overlapping systems of discrimination — including LGBTQ people, people of color, those with HIV, and people experiencing homelessness — are particularly at risk.”

GU O’Neill Institute Quick Take: Federal Investments In HIV Are Paying Off

“As the debt ceiling approaches with the potential for reductions in the federal budget, there is an urgent need for all parts of the HIV community to make sure that the public and policymakers are aware of the progress we are making in fighting HIV and the risks for a reversal of our hard-won gains if federal support for our programs and communities is weakened.”

GU O’Neill Institute Issue Brief: Effective Implementation of Longer-Acting HIV Treatment and PrEP Requires Delivery System Innovation

“While many patients and providers speak of how transformative these products can be, access to these products is limited and a myriad of barriers prevent individuals from accessing them. Deliberate policy actions are needed to ensure that these innovations do not bypass the individuals and communities that stand to benefit the most from them.”

The AIDS Institute Issue Brief: Speaker McCarthy’s Spending Proposal: A Catastrophe for HIV/AIDS Programs

“Speaker McCarthy’s “Limit, Save, Grow Act” will cut funding for HIV programs in the next fiscal year and could impact programs for the next decade. The proposed cuts will decimate systems that prevent, detect, and treat HIV, severely impeding our nation’s quest to end the HIV epidemic.”

NASTAD Webinars: Syphilis and Drug User Health Webinar Series

The NASTAD Drug User Health Team is pleased to announce an upcoming webinar series exploring syphilis among communities of people who use drugs, in partnership with AIDS UnitedNACCHONCSD, and the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board. This webinar series consists of five monthly sessions where those working on STIs – specifically syphilis – and those working in harm reduction and drug user health will be brought together to learn from each other, share promising practices, and highlight effective cross-sector partnerships. To join the webinars please register for them here:

  1. State Health Department Innovations at the Intersection of Syphilis & Drug User Health – Tuesday, June 27, from 3-4:30pm ET
  2. “Solo Makes You Go Slow”: Local Partnerships Addressing Syphilis Among People Who Use Drugs – Tuesday, July 25, from 3-4:30pm ET

Job Postings

HIV/STD Prevention Program Manager – Augusta, ME

The HIV/STD Prevention Program Manager in the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC) manages federal HIV and STD grants and the HIV/STD Prevention Program.  Services provided by this program are designed to increase awareness of prevention strategies, promote access to testing and treatment, and link individuals to appropriate care, all in an effort to improve health outcomes and reduce disease transmission. Apply by June 15.

Bureau of HIV/STD & Viral Hepatitis Prevention, Houston Health Department – Houston, TX

  • HIV/HCV Program Manager
    • HHD seeks an HIV and Viral Hepatitis Prevention Program Manager for our Bureau of HIV/STD and Viral Hepatitis Prevention.  This position will report to the Bureau Chief and will oversee the HIV prevention program primarily funded through a cooperative agreement with the US HHS Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  The successful applicant will manage a variety of projects/programs in specialized public health area(s) to enhance prevention, care and support services as well as collaborating with stakeholders including people living with HIV, state and local health departments, HIV service providers, subject matter experts and others to evaluate and improve HIV prevention, care, and treatment provision within the City of Houston and Harris County. Apply by June 19
  • Training Administrator, Capacity Building Unit
    • The Training Administrator will provide overall direction, supervise, train, and help develop staff for training unit; Coordinates and conducts HIV/STI/VH training sessions for education development for the Houston Health Department (HHD) employees, HHD funded Community Based Organizations and community members; Establish and maintain close working relationships with internal staff, community-based and private sector organizations to coordinate and perform health education and health promotion activities; Apply appropriate behavioral theories and evidence-based models to plan, organize, implement and evaluate health education and health promotion programming in various settings including churches, nursing homes, small businesses, worksite, civic groups and others. Apply by June 19

Viral Hepatitis Database Analyst – San Francisco, CA

Heluna Health invites applications for the full-time position of Viral Hepatitis Data Management Analyst in the ARCHES Branch at the San Francisco Department of Public Health. The Data Analyst will work with the ARCHES Viral Hepatitis Epidemiologist II to improve ongoing hepatitis data reporting and analysis. Responsibilities include higher level data cleaning tasks, data analysis and reporting, coordination with laboratory contacts to improve ELR protocols and procedures, and managing special projects as needed. This is a temporary (2 years), grant-funded, full-time, benefited position. Employment is provided by Heluna Health.

Manager, Meetings and Travel – NASTAD

Under general supervision of the Associate Director, IT and Administration, the Manager, Meetings and Travel will provide management, coordination and hands-on delivery of comprehensive service and support to NASTAD members, staff members, and other stakeholders as appropriate.   This position will coordinate and implement several, sometimes simultaneous, live, hybrid, and virtual events, particularly to NASTAD’s Annual and Technical Assistance Meetings. This position will monitor airline travel and purchases, manage travel-related vendors, maintain travel-related processes, reconcile meeting and travel expenses, complete appropriate forms and procedure documents, and work to fulfill NASTAD mission, goals, and objectives within the limitations of agency resources and policies and federal grant requirements.

Director, Health Care Access – NASTAD

NASTAD is recruiting for the Director of our Health Care Access program. The Director, Health Care Access plays a vital leadership role in achieving the organization’s training, technical assistance, and policy support priorities for Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program (RWHAP) Part B and AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAP). The position will work closely with Tim Horn, NASTAD’s Director of Medication Access.

Drug Trends and Technology-Based Drug Checking Analyst – New York City, NY

NYC DOHMH is looking for an analyst to work on our drug checking initiative. Currently operating in four SSPs across the city, including one of the OPCs, drug checking technicians use Bruker Infrared technology to test samples from SSP participants and provide individualized harm reduction education. This is a great opportunity for someone with strong data skills and an interest in drugs and toxicology. Please send out far and wide and feel free to reach out if you have any questions.

Division of Viral Hepatitis, National Center for HIV, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, CDC

  • Chief, Prevention Branch, DVH
    • NCHHSTP/DVH is recruiting for an exceptional candidate for the position of Prevention Branch Chief, Division of Viral Hepatitis (DVH), National Center for HIV, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention (NCHHSTP). The incumbent will serve as Chief in the Prevention Branch, Division of Viral Hepatitis, and will participate in the division’s senior management team responsible for directing the development, administration, implementation, and evaluation of national programs to prevent and control viral hepatitis. The incumbent provides advice to the Division Director on medical and scientific policy and practices associated with program, education, and research activities in support of viral hepatitis prevention and control, including harm reduction.

Prevention Coordinator, Boulder County AIDS Project – Boulder, Colorado

The primary duties of this position are to provide HIV/HCV/STI testing, syringe access, and street outreach services, as well as outreach education at community partner locations and events. This position provides these services in collaboration with other Prevention Department staff and key community partners, as well as enters data into databases and completes monthly reports. This position reports directly to the Prevention Director, and attends staff, department, and community partner meetings.

Florida Department of Health – Palm Beach County

To apply, please send resumes to Robert Scott, These are all $20/hr, in-office roles with possible remote flexibility.

  • EHE Navigator: This position’s work will be actively guided by the Palm Beach County Ending the Epidemic (EHE) Plan, including the four pillars and their goals, objectives, strategies and activities. Incumbent will assist in the planning, coordination, implementation and monitoring of the goals, objectives, strategies and activities set forth in the Palm Beach County Ending the Epidemic (EHE) Plan, in collaboration with other Area 9 EHE funding recipients, to include, but not limited to: Palm Beach County, FoundCare, and Florida Community Health Centers.
  • PrEP Navigator: This position’s work will be actively guided by the Palm Beach County Ending the Epidemic (EHE) Plan, including the four pillars and their goals, objectives, strategies and activities. Incumbent will link high-risk negative persons to available Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) and non-occupational Post Exposure Prophylaxis (nPEP) services with the goal of significantly reducing the number of new HIV infections among high-risk populations. Incumbent will assess and increase the knowledge, desirability, accessibility, and adherence of PrEP among referred high-risk individuals.
  • Digital Media Manager: This position is responsible for developing and coordinating the area HIV digital media presence through multiple platforms. Developing digital marketing strategies, creating social media content, collaborating with community partner organizations, and creating new ad campaigns to advance Ending the HIV Epidemic (EHE) in Palm Beach County.  Tracking data from digital campaigns to assist with EHE goals.

Deputy Medical Director, HIV/STI/Viral Hepatitis/Harm Reduction – Nashville, TN

This position will serve as the Statewide Deputy Medical Director in the HIV/STI/Viral Hepatitis section. The position has cross-cutting responsibility in all program areas with potential for promotion in succession plans. Primary responsibilities include leadership and oversight of cross-cutting programs related to End the Syndemic Tennessee to tackle HIV, sexually transmitted infections, viral hepatitis and substance use disorder in an integrated manner with an outward-facing, community-engaged process.

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, analyzing exposure data utilizing epidemiological and statistical methods.

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

The debt ceiling deal could make America’s STD problem much worse

“Senior Biden administration officials and public health leaders are warning that debt ceiling negotiations around clawing back unspent Covid-19 money would have an unintended consequence: increasing sexually-transmitted diseases. The potential cuts — one of the few seeming areas of agreement between House Republicans and the White House — could sap as much as $30 billion from state and local public health departments that are struggling to rebuild as Covid-19 wanes. Funding clawbacks would undermine work to slow the spread of syphilis, chlamydia, gonorrhea, HIV and hepatitis, and leave the country weaker in the face of future pandemics.”

To Eliminate HCV Among Persons Who Use Drugs: Embrace The Complexity

“While referencing with enthusiasm the White House’s recent proposal to eliminate HCV in the US, Trooskin warned that “it’s not enough to have the gas … we have to also build the car”—meaning that increasing the availability of direct acting antiviral agents (DAAs) to cure HCV infection, by itself, will not guarantee that vulnerable populations will initiate and be maintained in HCV treatment until they are cured.”

A new nasal spray to reverse fentanyl and other opioid overdoses gets FDA approval

“U.S. health regulators on Monday approved a new easy-to-use version of a medication to reverse overdoses caused by fentanyl and other opioids driving the nation's drug crisis. Opvee is similar to naloxone, the life-saving drug that has been used for decades to quickly counter overdoses of heroin, fentanyl and prescription painkillers. Both work by blocking the effects of opioids in the brain, which can restore normal breathing and blood pressure in people who have recently overdosed… It's not immediately clear how the new drug will be used differently compared to naloxone, and some experts see potential downsides to its longer-acting effect. The drug will be available via prescription and is approved for patients 12 and older.”