Policy Updates: Hill Happenings and Administration Activities
Fiscal Year 2023 Appropriations
Currently, the government is funded through a continuing resolution (CR) which temporarily extends Fiscal Year 2022 (FY2022) funding levels through December 16. Congress is not expected to resume spending talks until the results of the November mid-term elections are established, which may provide Republicans more leverage during appropriations negotiations if they regain a majority in either or both chambers. NASTAD will continue to monitor the appropriations process and advocate for the highest funding level on behalf of HIV and hepatitis programs.
NASTAD and ABAC Call on Congress to Fund HIV and Hepatitis Programs in FY2023
On November 1, NASTAD and the AIDS Budget and Appropriations Coalition (ABAC), a workgroup of the Federal AIDS Policy Partnership (FAPP), called on appropriators to support funding increases for domestic HIV, hepatitis, STI, TB, and related programs in the final FY2023 appropriation package. The coalition requested more resources for infectious disease prevention and surveillance programs, safety net programs like the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program (RWHAP), the Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS Program (HOPWA), sexual health programs, and HIV/AIDS research. Notably, the coalition urged lawmakers to fund the creation of a new national program to finance and distribute PrEP.
PACHA Finalizes Resolution on Molecular HIV Surveillance and Cluster Detection and Response
On November 2, the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA) finalized its recommendation for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding molecular HIV surveillance (MHS) after a public comment period. The council’s draft resolutions were unanimously approved on October 17. The resolution urges CDC to update its guidance to public and state, territorial, and local health departments to collaborate with key stakeholders and PLWH and assess whether MHS should be implemented locally, as well as how MHS activities might be constituted to ensure PLHIV are not harmed, such as by implementing opt-out options for PLWHIV.
CDC MMWR Details Disparities in Cases of Severe MPV Among PLWH
On November 4, CDC published a MMWR report detailing the occurrence of severe manifestations of monkeypox (MPV) in the US, particularly in persons with AIDS. The report revealed significant disparities in MPV case severity for Black men and persons experiencing homelessness, which reflect inequities in access to resources for the prevention, early diagnosis, and treatment of HIV infection, as well as missed opportunities to engage groups that have been socially or economically marginalized. CDC recommends that providers leverage existing HIV and sexually transmitted infection program resources and prioritize communities disproportionately affected by HIV to engage all persons with HIV infection in care and to increase access to monkeypox vaccination, diagnosis, and treatment. NASTAD is continuing to advocate for equitable access to MPV vaccination, diagnosis, and treatment as well as additional funding.
“CDC recommends that persons with pain receive appropriate pain treatment, with careful consideration of the benefits and risks of all treatment options in the context of the patient’s circumstances. Recommendations should not be applied as inflexible standards of care across patient populations.”
CDC MPV MMWR:
- Epidemiologic and Clinical Features of Children and Adolescents Aged <18 Years with Monkeypox — United States, May 17–September 24, 2022
- Severe Monkeypox in Hospitalized Patients — United States, August 10–October 10, 2022
Georgetown University O’Neill Institute Quick Takes:
- Meningococcal Disease Is a Growing Health Threat: this issue brief centers on the increasing number of invasive meningococcal disease outbreaks occurring amongst gay and bisexual men and other men who have sex with men across the U.S., the most recent of which in Florida.
- Preparing for the End of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency: this issue brief focuses on the impact of several of the new initiatives implemented by the COVID-19 public health emergency and which of them should be made permanent moving forward as we prepare for future health threats. As we move further away from the initial COVID-19 crisis, HIV stakeholders should work to preserve beneficial policies and prepare for future health threats.
New England Journal of Medicine: Monkeypox — A Sobering Sentinel for Pandemic Preparedness and Sexual Health System Capacity
“Between May and mid-October 2022, clinicians diagnosed more than 72,000 cases of monkeypox in 102 countries that aren’t typically affected by the virus. This new pandemic has strained public health and health care systems already battered by Covid-19. It has also highlighted lessons learned — and sometimes ignored — from HIV and Covid-19 and has illustrated the inadequacy of sexual health infrastructure and pandemic preparedness in the United States.”
Harm Reduction Coordinator, State Opioid Response (SOR) Team – Washington, DC
This position will be responsible for the day-to-day management of one of the country’s largest naloxone (NARCAN®) programs, including working with over 150 community partners and pharmacies, coordinating and providing naloxone trainings, and ramping up fentanyl test strip distribution. An ideal candidate is familiar with social services/drug user health organizations in DC, trained and highly familiar with naloxone administration, able to manage relationships with diverse community stakeholders, and has proficiency with Microsoft Suite, especially Excel. Individuals with lived experience are encouraged to apply. Please note this is *NOT* a fully remote position—this position is expected to be in our NoMa office at minimum three days per week, plus attend occasional events and trainings in the community. Applications will be open until 11/30/2022. Salary range is roughly $60-75K.
Florida Department of Health – Palm Beach County
To apply, please send resumes to Robert Scott, Robert.Scott@flhealth.gov. 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.
Executive Director, Hepatitis Education Project (HEP) – Seattle, WA (partially remote)
Reporting to a Board of Directors and in partnership with a staff of 19, the ED will lead the evolution of HEP as the organization reviews its impact to date and plans for the future in the fields of viral hepatitis and drug user health both locally and nationally.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on Wednesday renewed the national public health emergency for the monkeypox outbreak, with officials stating that the virus is still very present in the U.S. even as cases continue to drop. HHS
Secretary Xavier Becerra cited the “continued consequences of an outbreak of monkeypox cases across multiple states” as well as a “consultation with public health officials” for his decision to renew the public health emergency.”
“Smoking drugs—technically vaping, wherein drugs are heated to produce inhalable vapor rather than the combustion process of cigarettes—generally involves fewer risks than injecting them. Yet harm reduction programs provide much less access to pipes than to syringes. There are a few reasons for this. Sterile syringe access is more critical for reducing transmission of HIV and hepatitis C, which is why drug users mobilized around them during the HIV/AIDS crisis…Another reason for the disparity in supply access is that syringes cost pennies; glass pipes cost more.”
“Federal health officials on Thursday updated their recommendations for using opioids to treat pain, removing specific dose and duration targets that pain experts said had caused unintended harm. The new guidance, released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, reflects the evolution in thinking of how opioids should be used, and the reality of how they are being used.”
“New York state has reached a $523 million settlement with drug manufacturer Teva Pharmaceuticals, closing out the state’s massive legal battle against opioid manufacturers and distributors, New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) announced on Thursday.”