Newsletter: Policy

Policy Updates: Hill Happenings and Administration Activities

Hill Happenings

FY2025 Appropriations

Lawmakers are working to achieve a bipartisan framework to help advance fiscal year 2025 (FY2025) spending bills. Top appropriators are debating whether to adhere to statutory spending caps for FY2025 that were agreed to during the 2023 debt limit compromise. In particular, Senate Democrats have called for additional spending for domestic programs that were largely flat funded in fiscal year 2024 (FY2024) due to the spending caps. Additionally, the House Republican Caucus is debating whether to limit the scope of earmarked funds to prevent partisan gridlock over policy riders from delaying the spending bills, such as funding to nonprofits that serve LGBTQ+ people and the FY2024 proposal to eliminate funding for the Ending the HIV Epidemic Initiative. Rep. Cole has signaled that he wants to work quickly to close out this year’s spending process, setting up a conflict between the conservative and right-wing flanks of the House GOP caucus.

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 Housing Programs that Serve People Living With HIV

On May 3, NASTAD joined a coalition of over 390 organizations and called on Congress to provide strong funding for housing programs that serve people living with HIV (PLWH) at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The coalition highlighted the important role of the HUD Housing Opportunities for Persons With HIV/AIDS (HOPWA) program, which provides funding to support stigma-free, community-based, and cost-effective housing and supportive services to PLWH. Notably, the coalition requested $150 million to launch a new housing component under the HHS Ending the HIV Epidemic Initiative (EHE).

NASTAD Calls on Congress to Fund Family Planning and Reproductive Health Programs

On May 1, NASTAD joined a coalition of over 55 organizations and called on Congress to provide strong funding for reproductive and sexual health programs in the FY2025 funding bill. The coalition highlighted the important role of the Title X family planning program and the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program, which are housed under the HHS Office of Population Affairs (OPA), in sustaining networks of accessible and affordable sexual and reproductive health services. Additionally, the coalition called for strong funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Division of STD Prevention and $200 million to launch a new demonstration project to support clinical services related to sexually transmitted infections (STIs) to be administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

Administration Activities

OIDP Opens Public Comment Period on Proposed Viral Hepatitis Quality Measures

On May 7, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Infectious Disease and HIV/AIDS Policy (OIDP) announced that it will solicit public comment on potential viral hepatitis quality measures in Medicaid for implementation at the state and territory level. The comment opportunity comes after a March 7 virtual HHS Viral Hepatitis Quality Measures Technical Consultation Meeting, where state leaders and others working with viral hepatitis quality measures discussed the feasibility of testing and implementing a measure at the state level and outlined progress from state officials who have implemented or plan to implement viral hepatitis quality measures on screening and treatment. On May 8, OIDP released a Federal Register Notice Announcement that invites public comment on potential quality measures for hepatitis C screening and treatment initiation, or other viral hepatitis measures to consider. Submit comments via email to by June 7. Please reach out to the NASTAD Policy & Legislative Affairs team if you would like to provide input on NASTAD’s comment submission.

HHS OIDP Announces Rebrand of PACE Program as OIDP Engagement Teams

On May 8, HHS OIDP announced that it renamed the Prevention through Active Community Engagement (PACE) program to OIDP Engagement Teams to better represent the program’s work addressing syndemics, health equity, and engaging priority jurisdictions of the EHE initiative. The OIDP Engagement Teams were launched in 2019 to enhance HIV service delivery in regions most affected by HIV and bridge the community/federal communication gap between federal partners, states, counties, community-based organizations, and other local entities. The teams empower partners through technical assistance, resources, and training to ensure effective outreach and expansion of testing, prevention, and treatment services for populations impacted by the public health syndemic of HIV, viral hepatitis, STIs, COVID, mpox, substance use and mental health disorders.


2024 United States Conference on HIV/AIDS (USCHA): Hepatitis Pathway - Request for Proposals

This year, the United States Conference on HIV/AIDS (USCHA) is being held in-person in New Orleans, Louisiana, from September 12-15, 2024. The AIDS Institute and NASTAD are excited to be co-hosting the Hepatitis Pathway at USCHA for the seventh consecutive year. We hope this year’s Pathway will consist of a variety of topics related to the amazing viral hepatitis initiatives in your jurisdictions. Do you have a best practice, lesson learned, story, or an amazing program to highlight? Then apply to present as part of the Pathway by May 20!

HHS: National Asian & Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

“National Asian & Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NAPIHAAD) is observed each year on May 19 to raise awareness about the impact of HIV and AIDS-related stigma in AA and NHPI communities and promotes HIV prevention and treatment. Stigma keeps these communities from getting tested or seeking treatment. You can help stop HIV stigma by being intentional and thoughtful in how you talk about people, health, and experiences, and by talking openly and honestly about HIV prevention.”

HRSA HAB Webinar: Innovative HIV Care Strategies Using a Comprehensive Approach to Address the Needs of Priority Populations

Date: Thursday, June 7, 2024, 12:00-1:30 pm ET

The HRSA-funded Integrating HIV Innovative Practices (IHIP) project is hosting a webinar featuring two interventions that use a comprehensive approach to address specific challenges faced by people of color with HIV. CE credit is available for individuals who attend the live webinar. The featured interventions include:

  • The Black Women's Project offers tailored interventions that address the barriers to care faced by Black cisgender and transgender women with HIV. Through a holistic approach encompassing enhanced case management, trauma-informed care, peer/patient navigation, self-efficacy gender-affirming support, and intimate/domestic partner violence support, this project is paving the way for improved health outcomes and empowerment of Black women.
  • Curing Hepatitis C Among People of Color with HIV supports a multifaceted approach to help people with HIV prevent hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection or reinfection. This includes expanding capacity for HCV prevention, testing, care, and treatment; improving coordination of care for those with both HIV and HCV; collaborating with SAMHSA-funded substance use disorder treatment providers; and enhancing health department surveillance systems.

The AIDS Institute: Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis: Coverage, Compliance, and Ending the HIV Epidemic

“Four years after the requirement for health plans to cover PrEP without copayments went into effect, health plan documents too often do not properly describe that benefit for enrollees and prospective enrollees. Our report urges insurers to ensure that they are complying with the PrEP coverage requirement and update their coverage materials and websites. We also urge federal and state regulators to take steps to ensure that the plans within their jurisdiction are properly covering PrEP free of cost. Public health organizations and marketplaces should also do more to educate communities with greater HIV risk about no-cost PrEP and PrEP-related services.”

HHS Webinars: Hepatitis Awareness Month

SAGE Webinar Series: Older Americans Act

“SAGE is hosting a three-part webinar series to answer questions on the Older Americans Act (OAA) and what programs they fund, who’s eligible, and even how our community is going to be treated when people walk in the door.”

  • May 16, 2024 at 3pm ET: Empowering Activists to Advance an Older Americans Act for ALL

Job Opportunities

Public Health Program Director – Dauphin County, PA

This position directs the Division of Communicable Disease Field Services. Duties of this position include the planning, organizing, coordinating, directing, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating disease intervention services (field services) within the Bureau of Communicable Diseases. You directly supervise six field staff, and those six field staff directly supervise over 30 staff. You assign work to field staff supervisors and oversee their work to ensure their effectiveness, consistency, and compliance. You also ensure adherence to onboarding and annual requirements for field staff supervisors and field staff. In addition, you work closely and collaboratively with numerous public and private entities to strengthen the capacity of PADOH to mitigate the spread of infections and oversee the development and maintenance of policies and procedures for field service activities. Apply by May 22.

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services

  • Harm Reduction Pillar Epidemiologist - This position will lead epidemiology work related to Michigan’s rapid opioid response and harm reduction programming to address negative health outcomes impacting people use drugs. In addition, this position will utilize data analysis to identify trends in syringe service program utilization and morbidity and mortality outcomes and translate insights into actionable data-driven strategies for improving health outcomes. 
  • Drug User Health Epidemiologist - This position will be responsible for using data from multiple systems, to uncover trends and patterns in infections among people who use substances and use data to target interventions essential for reducing the burden of medical complications related to injection drug use.

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, 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

House Speaker Mike Johnson survived a motion to vacate. Here's why his job is far from safe

“In a stunning show of unity in the often divided House, Democrats joined a majority of Republicans on Wednesday to save the GOP speaker from an attempt by fellow Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene to remove him from his post. But while Democrats in the minority threw the Louisiana congressman a life raft by voting on his side, they made clear they might not do so again. That means the threat for Johnson still lingers as Greene and other lawmakers can at any time call up another motion to oust him.”

The reckoning facing the NIH

“The National Institutes of Health will face an overhaul if Republicans gain control of the Senate next year. Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy — the Republican in line to lead the Senate committee that oversees the agency — said Thursday that reform was long overdue.

“Congress has not thoroughly reviewed NIH operations and practices since the 21st Century Cures Act passed in 2016,” he said in a release.”

The Opioid Settlements Being Paid in Naloxone Don’t Quite Add Up

“Amneal Pharmaceuticals, a New Jersey-based manufacturer known for generics, has agreed to settle the 900-plus lawsuits alleging it failed to report “suspicious” orders for opioids. Over a 10-year period, states, counties, municipalities and Tribal Nations will receive $92.5 million in cash and an additional $180 million in naloxone. Or for recipients that don’t want the naloxone, 25 percent of its value in cash. They should take the cash.”