By Emily McCloskey, Manager, Policy and Legislative Affairs, NASTAD
ACTION: 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
By Terrance Moore, Director of Policy and Health Equity, NASTAD
Editor’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
by Oscar Mairena, Manager, Policy and Legislative Affairs and Viral Hepatitis
Oscar Mairena, Manager, Policy and Legislative Affairs and Viral Hepatitis
On December 4, NASTAD joined the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Center for HIV Law and Policy (CHLP), in collaboration with Congresswoman Barbara Lee, for the United States National Dialogue on the Criminalization of HIV Transmission, Exposure & Non-disclosure: The Role of States & the Federal Government. NASTAD presented on the public health approach to ending HIV criminalization and NASTAD Chair Randy Mayer, Chief of the Iowa Bureau of HIV, STD and Hepatitis joined Iowa State Senator Matt McCoy in discussing the importance of the partnership between the state legislature and public health to modernize HIV criminal policies in Iowa.
By Julie Scofield, Executive Director, NASTAD
Tomorrow is World AIDS Day and as I reflect on the past year, I realize that collectively, many developments over the past year are very important in our fight to eradicate HIV here at home and abroad. At AIDS 2012, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), said “We have a historic opportunity — with science on our side — to make the achievement of an AIDS-free generation a reality,” and he is right. We are in the midst of implementing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which will increase access to and quality of care for people living with HIV. Pre-exposure prophylaxis and the first over-the-counter HIV test were both approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Just last week the United States Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) issued a draft recommendation in strong support of routine HIV testing for all adolescents and adults ages 15 through 65, pregnant women, and others at increased risk for HIV younger than 15 and older than 65 by assigning it a Grade “A”. This is a monumental shift in the USPSTF’s previous recommendation of testing only for people who are “at risk” for HIV and pregnant women. Under the ACA, this recommendation will require that HIV tests for all be reimbursed by private insurers.
By Oscar Mairena, Manager, Viral Hepatitis/Policy and Legislative Affairs, NASTAD
Oscar Mairena, Manager, Viral Hepatitis/Policy and Legislative Affairs, NASTAD
The vision for the National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS) is that the U.S. will reduce HIV infections and ensure that high-quality, life-extending care will be available to everyone “free of stigma and discrimination.” Given the importance of stigma in addressing the HIV epidemic, we recently hosted a seminar on stigma and public health practice at the 2012 United States Conference on AIDS (USCA). We shared findings from a MAC AIDS Fund (MAF)-supported survey we conducted with the National Coalition of STD Directors (NCSD) to assess the effects of stigma on Black and Latino gay men in the U.S. We also discussed stigma as a barrier to HIV prevention, its role as an obstacle to tackling the treatment cascade – leaving only 25 percent of those infected with undetectable viral loads – and presented two examples of stigma as a structural barrier to achieving the goals of public health. Continue reading