Ending the HIV Epidemic Newsletter

By Mike Weir November 30, 2020

November 2020 EHE Newsletter

NASTAD, with collaboration from the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE), and the National Coalition of STD Directors (NCSD), distributes a monthly newsletter to Phase 1 Ending the HIV Epidemic: A Plan for America (EHE) jurisdictions. The newsletter informs recipients of EHE related policy updates, communications from federal partners, success stories, and other related EHE information. As the CDC PS19-1906 National Partner and HRSA-20-089 Systems Coordinator Provider recipients, NASTAD also launched an EHE website to house programmatic updates, share strategies and outcomes from Phase 1 jurisdictions, and connect health departments with the community. For questions, comments, or content contributions, please contact Mike Weir.

Administration Updates

Ending the Epidemic Stakeholder Webinar

On October 29, the Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of Infectious Disease and HIV/AIDS Policy (OIDP) hosted a quarterly stakeholder webinar on efforts to implement the Ending the HIV Epidemic: A Plan for America (EHE) initiative. For more details, please access the presentation slides and recording from this session.

PACHA Virtual Meeting

The Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA) will hold its 69th full Council meeting virtually on Wednesday, December 2 and Thursday, December 3, 2020 from 1:00-5:00 PM ET. The meeting agenda will be posted on the PACHA page on HIV.gov prior to the meeting. Instructions on attending this meeting virtually will be posted one week prior to the meeting here.

HRSA’s HIV/AIDS Bureau Releases Two New Aging with HIV Reference Guides

“The Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) HIV/AIDS Bureau (HAB) HAB recently released two new reference guides to assist health care professionals as their population of patients aging with HIV grows. 

Incorporating New Elements of Care: This reference guide identifies commonly occurring health care and social needs of people aging with HIV and highlights the screenings and assessments for these needs. It serves as a starting point for health care teams as they build and expand their knowledge and practice of serving people aging with HIV.

Putting Together the Best Health Care Team: This reference guide discusses how all members of the health care team can contribute to the care of people aging with HIV. Specifically, this guide identifies roles, responsibilities, staff training, and resources for the health care team to build their capacity and may assist the health care team as they build and expand their knowledge and practice of serving people aging with HIV.”

PS19-1906 Deadline Extended to December 31 Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO)

The deadline to submit final/updated EHE plans through PS19-1906 Component B has been extended to December 31. CDC extended the deadline to accommodate changes in organizational capacity among health department staff due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

World AIDS Day Resources and Activities

World AIDS Day (WAD) will be held on December 1. The CDC has provided free tools in the WAD Resource Center to help support awareness activities and testing events. 

The Office of Infectious Disease and HIV/AIDS Policy will host a special Live with Leadership - World AIDS Day Edition conversation to learn directly from key HHS and community leaders about new and ongoing work to further the EHE initiative. The Live with Leadership session will take place on Tuesday, December 1 from 2:00 – 3:00 PM ET.

Legislative Updates

FY2021 Appropriations 

House and Senate Appropriations Committee leaders continue to negotiate a bicameral omnibus deal to complete FY2021 funding. Negotiators were able to reach an agreement on topline spending allocations for the twelve FY2021 funding bills.   The current continuing resolution (CR) extends government funding through December 11th. It is still unclear whether a COVID-19 relief stimulus bill will be attached to the final deal.

COVID-19 Relief Updates

Congressional and Administration leaders remain in a deadlock over another round of COVID-19 stimulus. The House released and passed an updated version of the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act (HEROES) Act, which proposes an additional $100 million for the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program and $65 million for the Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) Program. The package is unlikely to be taken up by the Senate. NASTAD will continue to monitor the appropriations process and stimulus negations and advocate for the highest funding levels on behalf of HIV and hepatitis programs. 

Resources

Ending the HIV Epidemic Jurisdictional Directory

NASTAD maintains an Ending the HIV Epidemic (EHE) Jurisdictional Directory. The directory provides a list of local and state points of contact for EHE-related community engagement activities. Aiming to increase community participation, the directory also includes EHE websites, EHE jurisdictional plans, and social media accounts if available. NASTAD coordinates the directory as the HRSA-20-089 Systems Coordination Provider and CDC PS19-1906 National Partner. The directory is available through NASTAD’s EHE website and it is used to populate additional national contact lists. Health department staff members are encouraged to update their jurisdiction’s information using this brief form.  

Webinar: Implementing Self-Testing for HIV and PrEP Monitoring

The second webinar in the series Self-Testing Strategies for PrEP and HIV will be held on December 3, from 3:00 – 4:30 PM ET. This webinar, Implementing Self-Testing for HIV and PrEP Monitoring focuses on approaches for clinical decisions regarding self-testing for PrEP and lessons learned when implementing self-testing with various populations. Please click here to register for this webinar.

The initial webinar in the series, Providing At-Home Testing Through the BHOC Partnership, held on October 15, 2020, provided an overview of self-testing initiatives and highlighted Building Healthy Online Communities’ Take Me Home program, which included details about expanding self-testing options to STI and PrEP panels. The recording, presentation slides, and questions posed during the first webinar can be accessed on NASTAD’s website by following this link.

New EHE “Office Hours”

On Thursday, December 10 from 3:30 – 4:30 PM ET, NASTAD and NACCHO are partnering to offer the first in a series of calls or “EHE Office Hours” to facilitate peer-to-peer learning and mentorship during the planning and implementation of jurisdictional EHE plans. EHE Office Hours are intended for those leading their jurisdictions' PS19-1906 EHE efforts, including local health departments, state health departments, and other key participants. Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions, share challenges and successes, and discuss their plans among one another via Zoom. Click here to register for the first call. Please contact Krupa Mehta or Julia Zigman with any questions or concerns.  

Regional EHE Community Engagement Virtual Town Halls

Noting that community engagement is paramount to the success of the EHE initiative, CDC partnered with regional CBA providers (AIDS United, California Prevention Training Center, NYC CBA, NASTAD) to host virtual Regional Community Engagement Town Hall Sessions Nov. 17 – 20. The town halls served to educate, encourage, and empower community members to participate in local EHE planning processes. Recordings of the town halls will be released in early December.

AHEAD Dashboard

HHS launched America’s HIV Epidemic Analysis Dashboard (AHEAD) to measure collective progress in reaching EHE goals. The AHEAD dashboard will make HIV data more widely available. It will graphically visualize data for each of the 57 EHE Phase I jurisdictions and track national and jurisdiction progress on six indicators:

  • HIV incidence
  • Knowledge of HIV status
  • HIV diagnoses
  • Linkage to HIV medical care
  • Viral suppression
  • PrEP coverage

Self-Testing for HIV and STIs through Local Health Departments: Survey Reveals Barriers, Opportunities

“To better understand the landscape of HIV/STI self-testing at LHDs, NACCHO launched a brief survey to collect information about LHD approaches and challenges to implementing self-testing programs. Survey results demonstrated a large gap in at-home testing capacity in local public health.”

News

COVID-19 Stymies Plan To End HIV in America

“The timeline for ending the HIV epidemic has become less certain. Services for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) “are stripped to basic and highest priorities,” said Julie Dombrowski, MD, MPH, an associate professor of medicine in the Division of Allergy and Infectious Disease at the University of Washington, in Seattle, and the deputy director of the Seattle & King County HIV/STD Program, whose HIV program is a good example.”

Interim-20-ID-05: CSTE Recommendations for Modernization of Laws to Prevent HIV Criminalization

On October 9, 2020, the CSTE Executive Board unanimously approved two 2020 interim position statements, including Interim-20-ID-05: CSTE Recommendations for Modernization of Laws to Prevent HIV Criminalization. CSTE joins numerous other organizations across the globe in strongly opposing any criminalization of HIV exposure or transmission and recommends that all states, U.S. territories, and local jurisdictions. To read the position statement and more on the CSTE position statement process, please use the following link: https://www.cste.org/page/PositionStatements.

Join NACCHO’s Harm Reduction Listserv for Funding and Technical Assistance

To support our growing harm reduction portfolio, NACCHO is launching a new listserv where we’ll share harm reduction opportunities, resources, news, information, and evidence-based science on an ad-hoc basis. Sign up to be the first to know about NACCHO’s forthcoming funding and technical and capacity building assistance opportunities.