What the REPEAL HIV Discrimination Act Means to Public Health

By Oscar Mairena, Manager, Policy & Legislative Affairs and Viral Hepatitis

Oscar Mairena, Manager, Viral Hepatitis/Policy and Legislative Affairs, NASTAD

Oscar Mairena, Manager, Viral Hepatitis/Policy and Legislative Affairs, NASTAD

This month, Congresswomen Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) introduced bipartisan legislation, HR1843, the Repeal Existing Policies that Encourage or Allow Legal (REPEAL) HIV Discrimination Act. The REPEAL Act calls for laws and policies that demonstrate a public-health oriented, evidence-based, medically-accurate and contemporary understanding of HIV transmission, risks of transmission based on means of exposure, current health implications of living with HIV and the benefits of treatment and comprehensive support services. Continue reading

Increasing Funding to End the HIV and Viral Hepatitis Epidemics

By Oscar Mairena and Emily McCloskey, Managers of Policy & Legislative Affairs

­­­­­President's FY2014 BudgetAs we begin to see the effects of the sequester on public health programs nationwide, it becomes increasingly clear that we must increase funding for HIV and viral hepatitis programs in FY2014 and onward in order to truly end these epidemics and improve the nation’s health. In light of this need, NASTAD has released fact sheets with recommendations for FY2014 health department HIV/AIDS and viral hepatitis program funding at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). Continue reading

Restoring Federal Emergency Relief Funding for HIV/AIDS Programs

By Emily McCloskey, Manager, Policy and Legislative Affairs, NASTAD

Sign on LetterThe HIV/AIDS community is organizing a sign-on letter to the President urging him to immediately redirect $35 million to the state AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAPs) and $10 million to Ryan White Part C programs in FY2013 in order to ensure continuation of care and treatment for thousands of people living with HIV/AIDS.  This funding was not included in the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2013, a continuing resolution (CR) that will fund the federal government for the rest of FY2013. Continue reading

Call in Day to Support ADAP and Ryan White Part C Emergency Relief Funding

By Emily McCloskey, Manager, Policy and Legislative Affairs, NASTAD

Call in Day to Support ADAP and Ryan White Part C Emergency Relief FundingACTION: Tell Senators Reid, Mikulski and Shelby to continue critical HIV funding in the FY 13 funding bill.

The $35 million for ADAP Emergency Relief Funding (ERF) awards and $10 million for Ryan White Part C, that President Obama announced on World AIDS Day 2011, is not currently included in the Continuing Resolution (CR) being considered by the Senate that will fund the government for the remainder of FY2013. This funding is currently awarded to 14 states and one territory (AL, AK, CA, CO, FL, GA, IL, MT, NE, NJ, SD, TN, WA, WI, VI). If this anomaly is not corrected, this funding will not be available for states and Part C clinics during FY2013. If funds aren’t restored, it could lead to an estimated 7,920 clients being removed from ADAP and many Part C funded HIV clinics reducing services and closing their doors to new patients. Continue reading

The Devastating Impact of Sequestration on ADAP in the South: Sequestration Would Leave Thousands of People without Access to Life-saving Medications

By Terrance Moore, Director of Policy and Health Equity, NASTAD

The Impact of Sequestration on ADAP in the SouthEditor’s Note: Since the publishing of the post below, sequestration has begun to take effect. While the cuts technically start March 1, the true effects of the cuts will not be felt until FY2013 funding is resolved. The federal government is currently funded under a continuing resolution until March 27. Sequestration’s effects will not be felt until final funding awards are made after March 27.

Today, we released a fact sheet on the devastating impact of sequestration on the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP). Sequestration, the automatic across-the-board spending cuts, originally created in the Budget Control Act of 2011, is currently scheduled to take place tomorrow, March 1. Sequestration will result in up to 15,000 clients losing access to life-saving medications they receive via ADAP. Up to half of the people that will be disenrolled live in the South, which as of 2010 accounted for 45 percent of all new AIDS diagnoses in the U.S. Continue reading