Newsletter: Policy

Policy Updates: Hill Happenings and Administration Activities

Hill Happenings 

Fiscal Year 2023 Appropriations  

Top appropriators are quickly moving to advance Fiscal Year 2023 (FY2023) spending discussions following the release of the President’s FY2023 Budget Request to Congress on March 28. Democrats intend to advance the spending bills on a normal timeline in order to avoid the FY2022 spending scenario where Congress had to issue a string of continuing resolutions to fund the government as a result of protracted spending negotiations. House lawmakers are expected to markup subcommittee spending bills in June, working to finalize a bipartisan spending package by the start of FY2023 on October 1. However, partisan battles ahead of the midterm elections could derail that timeline.

On May 4, the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) appeared before the Senate Committee on Appropriations to testify on the President’s FY2023 Funding Request for HHS and its operating divisions. Secretary Becerra touted the administration’s plans to address the COVID-19 pandemic, mental health and substance use, and bolster access to affordable coverage. Despite bipartisan support for an increase in substance misuse prevention funding, Senate Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Roy Blunt (R-MO) questioned funding allocations to harm reduction providers under substance abuse prevention funding. 

On April 27, a group of 101 House Representatives sent a Dear Colleague letter to the House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman and Ranking Member, requesting that the Committee allocate significant funding in FY2023 to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the US. The lawmakers highlighted the progress made with the Ending the HIV Epidemic in the US Initiative and called for strong funding for a national PrEP program. The lawmakers also highlighted the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program, funding for HIV Prevention and Surveillance at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Community Health Centers PrEP Program, HIV/AIDS Research at the National Institutes of Health, and funding for the Office of Infectious Disease and HIV/AIDS Policy.

NASTAD is monitoring the FY2023 appropriations process and will advocate for the highest possible funding levels on behalf of HIV and hepatitis programs.

Senate Confirms Dr. Nkengasong as US Global AIDS Coordinator 

On May 5, the US Senate confirmed Dr. John Nkengasong as the new US Global AIDS Coordinator leading the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the largest funder of HIV/AIDS programming in the world. Nkengasong is the first person of African origin nominated and confirmed for this position. He directs the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, part of the African Union and before that, served as the chief of the international laboratory branch in HIV/AIDS and TB at the US CDC, and as acting deputy director at its Center for Global Health. Advocates cheered the confirmation, noting the months-long delay in nominating and confirming a leader for PEPFAR. 

Administration Activities 

CDC Announces National HIV Testing Day Theme 

On April 20, CDC announced the theme for the 2022 National HIV Testing Day (NHTD), “HIV Testing is Self-care.” On June 27th each year, we observe NHTD, a day to emphasize and encourage HIV testing. This year, we observe NHTD as COVID-19 and HIV epidemics continue to affect our communities, the nation, public health departments, and healthcare facilities. HIV testing is an act of self-care, and knowledge of status is the gateway to engaging in prevention or treatment services that enable individuals, regardless of their status to live a long and healthy life. 

CDC Announces PS22-2203 Awards 

On April 1, CDC Division of HIV Prevention (DHP) announced that it awarded funds to 36 community-based organizations (CBOs) under the program PS22-2203: Comprehensive High-Impact HIV Prevention Programs for Young Men of Color Who have Sex with Men and Young Transgender Persons of Color. PS22-2203 is a $72 million, 5-year program; first-year funding is approximately $14.4 million. Funded CBOs will develop client-centered, high-impact HIV prevention programs that use a combination of HIV prevention strategies and provide services that continually engage people who could benefit from HIV care, prevention, and essential support services.


CDC DHP: HIV Prevention and Care Priorities – Regional Virtual Community Engagement Town Hall 

The Division of HIV Prevention (DHP) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will convene its ongoing HIV Prevention and Care Priorities – Regional Virtual Community Engagement Town Hall on May 12, 2022, from 1:00-2:30 p.m. EST with HHS Region 4. The Town Hall will provide a venue for discussion and collaboration focused on barriers to and opportunities for improving HIV diagnosis, treatment, prevention, and outbreak response. 

CDC DHP Issue Brief: HIV and Transgender Communities 

“Transgender people, particularly transgender women, are heavily affected by HIV and transgender women are among the groups most disproportionately affected by HIV in the U.S. To end the HIV epidemic, CDC is actively working with public health partners, other federal agencies, and community leaders to improve HIV prevention and care for transgender people nationwide and reduce health disparities.” 

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

“In 2020, HIV testing decreased noticeably across the country as the COVID-19 pandemic made it more difficult to access traditional, in-person testing services. HIV self-testing programs offer an innovative way to bridge gaps in access to HIV testing and ensure that HIV testing is simple and more accessible for all.” 

CDC MMWR: Acute Hepatitis and Adenovirus Infection Among Children — Alabama, October 2021–February 2022 

KFF Issue Brief: PrEP Access in the United States: The Role of Telehealth 

“This brief provides an overview of the tele-PrEP landscape, including how PrEP services (e.g., initial consults, lab work, prescribing, and ongoing monitoring) are provided and factors that facilitate its provision as well as barriers that remain.”

HepNET Townhall 

Date: May 12 | 2:00 PM ET 

Register: Click here to register 

NASTAD, in partnership with the National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable (NVHR) and the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), is implementing and facilitating the Hepatitis Network for Education and Testing (HepNET). In collaboration, we will work with state and local health departments (LHDs), community-based organizations (CBOs), clinical providers, people with lived experience, syringe services programs (SSPs) and harm reduction programs, and other key partners to identify and address the unmet needs of people who inject drugs (PWID) and improve their access to viral hepatitis education, prevention, testing, linkage to care, and treatment. Join the town hall to learn more about HepNET.

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. 

Job Postings 

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.

HEP: Communications and Marketing Manager 

The Hepatitis Education Project (HEP) is hiring a Communications and Marketing Manager to manage HEP’s overall communications strategy including managing the advocacy communication and marketing needs of our National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable (NVHR) program. This position will be based in the Washington State Puget Sound region, with some Seattle in-office and travel to DC. To apply, please send a resume, cover letter, and work sample to by May 13th. 

NASTAD RFP: Data Management Consultant, RWHAP Part B ADAP Monitoring Project 

The Data Management Consultant will work with the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program (RWHAP) Part B AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) Monitoring Project team to support the production of the 2023 National RWHAP Part B ADAP Monitoring Project Report. This consultant will work on an hourly basis throughout the contract period (June 15, 2022 – January 31, 2023). Submissions are due by close of business, Wednesday, May 18, 2022.  

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. 

HOPWA Program Manager – Wake County, NC 

The Division of Public Health is accepting applications for a Program Coordinator IV.  The position is located in the Communicable Disease Branch-AIDS Care Program.  This Program Coordinator is responsible for managing all requirements of the HOPWA grant to ensure full compliance with HUD HOPWA program guidance, rules, and regulations.  Applications close May 9.

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

HIV/STD Director – Austin, TX 

The HIV/STD Director works under the general direction of the Director of the TB/HIV/STD Section (THSS) of the Department of State Health Services (DSHS). Performs advanced (senior-level) managerial work leading the day-to-day operations of the HIV/STD Prevention and Care Unit. These programs include statewide programs for HIV clinical and social services; the provision of medications for the treatment of HIV and other STDs; and HIV/STD prevention. Applications close May 9. 

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 

Supreme Court has voted to overturn abortion rights, draft opinion shows 

“The Supreme Court has voted to strike down the landmark Roe v. Wade decision, according to an initial draft majority opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito circulated inside the court and obtained by POLITICO. The draft opinion is a full-throated, unflinching repudiation of the 1973 decision which guaranteed federal constitutional protections of abortion rights and a subsequent 1992 decision — Planned Parenthood v. Casey — that largely maintained the right. “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start,” Alito writes.” 

As Overdoses Soar, More States Decriminalize Fentanyl Testing Strips 

“Fentanyl test devices — prohibited under drug paraphernalia laws adopted decades ago — remain illegal in about half of states, drug policy experts say. Many public health and addiction experts, though, promote the rapid testing devices as what’s known as a “harm reduction” tactic to help prevent overdose deaths from illicit drugs that users may not know are laced with fentanyl.” 

CDC investigating 109 unusual hepatitis cases in kids in outbreak 

“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday it is investigating 109 reported cases of unusual hepatitis in previously healthy young children, eight of whom needed liver transplants and five of whom have died. A total of 25 states and territories have reported cases.”